When Joesph finds out his fiance, Mary, is pregnant, he decides to “divorce her quietly.” I imagine he did this to keep her from being killed or ostracized for her presumed adultery. But before Joesph can follow through with his plan…
“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” [Matthew 1v20-23]
The angel tells Joseph that Mary’s baby is special. This baby will rescue people from their sin. The name alone, “Jesus,” means “the LORD saves.” This is no ordinary baby.
The prophet quoted here is Isaiah. In this dream, Joseph is told that this baby will be “God with us.” God present among us, to us.
At Christmas we celebrate. We celebrate the birth, the first coming, of a baby who would save the world. We look forward to the second coming, the return of Christ to put the world right again. That is good news.
But in all that, let’s not forget, that we celebrate the God who is present today, here and now. He came 2000 years ago. He will return at some point in the future. But he is here now. Here to love, heal, and forgive.
He is here with us. Now.
How does the quote from Isaiah make you feel? What does it mean to you that “God is with us.”