It doesn’t need to be that “most wonderful time of the year” to reflect on one of the Lord’s sweetest and most powerful names, Emmanuel. In the Greek, Emmanuel means “God with us.” This sacred name did more than fulfill the prophesies in Isaiah, and even reaches beyond the physical truth of Jesus arriving on earth. Yes, Jesus was there with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and the sheep, but the Lord is also with us today.
Jesus is Emmanuel when he shows up on a stressful day to fill your heart with the peace that passes understanding. Jesus is Emmanuel when you receive difficult news from the doctor. Jesus is not only Emmanuel at the exciting beginning of a journey, or the triumphant end. Right there in the tension-filled middle, Jesus is Emmanuel: God with you, and God with me.
Jesus, Emmanuel does not promise that when He is with us all will be made right. In fact, He promised that in this life we will have trouble! (John 16:33) However, He also promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) In our struggle, in our doubt, in our anxious hearts, Emmanuel, the Lord of Lords is there with us.
How beautiful it is that we have an almighty God who cares about the minutia of our daily lives, both the joys and the hardships. Emmanuel is there to fortify us, give us hope, and give us a purpose. The truth is, we don’t just need God on Sunday mornings. We need Jesus in that Tuesday morning meeting that stirs frustrations in our hearts. We need Jesus on the Wednesday night when supper is still not ready and homework is still not done. God is a God of all those moments. He is with us in the mess, and He is with us in the blessing.
Emmanuel, what a beautiful name it is!