|Matthew 1:23-“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”
• God is with us in our humanity.
No existence is more fragile than that of a baby, and that is the way Jesus came. And though He didn’t come into the world in the usual way as His mother, Mary, was a Virgin who conceived of the Holy Spirit, He still came as a helpless, hungry, tired, dependent infant.
Philippians 2 tells us that in His humanity Jesus chose obedience and service. He has taught us how to live well in this human existence. I’m not just grateful that God became flesh so I could have an example to follow, but it was because Jesus became human that we are one day able to become like Him. Born without sin, Jesus lived a sinless life which made Him the only human who was qualified to pay the price of the sins of the world. He climbed into our mess, our brokenness, not just to identify with us, but to redeem and rescue us.
• God is with us in our fears.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
God isn’t just with us as an innocent bystander. He doesn’t just hang out in the corner when we are afraid. He is active. He is working. He is being strategic. He will strengthen us. He will help us. He will uphold us.
• God is with us in our suffering.
Jesus is no stranger to suffering. He endured incredible rejection, hatred, humiliation, and physical pain and trauma. He understands what it is like to hurt both emotionally and physically. No wonder Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Though God is always with us up close and personal, there is a sense that He comes even closer when we are suffering.
As you worship God this Christmas, worship Him as the God who is with you in your humanity, with you in your fears, and with you in your suffering.