According to the prophets, the name of the Messiah is Emmanuel, “God With Us.” This is the name that signifies what Christmas is and should be for us: our belief that God is present among us.
This presence of God, is not only a spiritual presence, but a real presence through the mystery of the incarnation. God, who is invisible, becomes visible in Jesus; God who is almighty makes Himself vulnerable in the flesh of a child.
Our God is not a God who made Himself present for but one moment of human history, but a God who never abandons us. God came to us, and remains with us…this is our God, this is Emmanuel. This is the mystery of a love so great that it transcends all times and all places and extends itself to all humanity.
Especially at Christmas, we experience the presence and the goodness of God, not only in this world, but also in the people around us. This celebration and everything we share – gifts, moments together, love – these are not motivated by philanthropic reasons. Rather, this is the only reason that has moved us and the world from the beginning: Love, not any love, but the Love that God has for us, the Love that God is for us. This Love is so great that God has promised to be with us until the end of the ages.
The name of the Messiah represents the reality of His commitment to us. He is not only our Creator; He is our Savior and the One who accompanies us every single moment, even in those times we do not feel His presence. God is “with us,” because His presence is more than a feeling, it is His promise to us, and the way God shows His caring love.
On Christmas, please remember at your table, in your prayer, and with your family, that you are not alone. God is with you! This presence makes our celebration of His Birth a Happy and Merry Christmas. And remember, also, that God may entrust to each of you in some time and some place to be the manifestation of God’s love and abiding presence.
Thank you for showing forth “God With Us” in your lives. Merry Christmas to all!