THREE RIVERS DISTRICT
“GOD WITH US”
“...he paused a little, and then with all the remaining strength he had, cried out, ‘The best of all is, God is with us’; and then...again repeated the heart-reviving words, “The best of all is, God is with us!”
There is hardly a more central promise that God has ever made to us human beings than this one– that God is with us! No matter what comes our way, there is this affirmation that the God of all creation will never leave us nor forsake us. Just think of the alternative– that God is not with us! What would that be like? (I don’t want to know.)
What if God were only willing to be “with us” as long as we don’t make mistakes, take wrong turns, get too obnoxious, etc.? If God should ever choose not to be with us, then words like grace, mercy, and love would have no meaning. This is the time of year when we especially celebrate this promise made clear in the birth of Jesus. Matthew 1:22-23 puts it this way:
“All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, “which means, ‘God is with us.’”
Jesus was born, yes, but he was also sent, and “Emmanuel” was one of the names assigned to him. “God with us.” He turned life upside down with the message he presented. But he also left people with the sense that they had never been closer to God than when they were with him. (Or should we say, when he was with them?)
God is not indifferent to us. God came to us, in the most radical way, by taking our humanity onto himself. May we rejoice in that glorious good news! May we, this Christmas, know more than we have ever known before that God has come to us in Jesus and that we can always live in the assurance of his presence.
- Dr. Bradley G. Call
Three Rivers District
Rev. Dr. Brad Call
415 Walnut St
Coshocton OH 43812
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