DayBreaks for 12/20/13 – It’s All In the Name
Matthew 1:23 (NLT) “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Matthew, when writing his gospel, didn’t want Joseph or any of us to get stuck in pie/sky dreams. He wanted to bring us down to earth, to our waking reality, and he did so by invoking the name of Immanuel. Because if Jesus, whose name was given to Joseph in a dream, is to do us any good, he’d better meet us and be with us in all those times when our dreams go up in smoke and when the crushing weight of this world of misery comes crashing down around our shoulders – again. If he is only Jesus, the one who saves us from our sins, it would be too easy to turn him into the one who also saves us out of the real world. But if he is Immanuel, the “God With Us”, then we realize we don’t have to go anywhere to meet him other than the craziness of our Monday mornings and our Thursday afternoons. We don’t have to go find him in some other realm or space because he has already found us in exactly this realm and this world.
So where is Immanuel? Immanuel is God-with-us in the cancer clinic and the Alzheimer’s ward. Immanuel is God-with-us when the pink slip is put into your hand and when the child you love sneers viciously at you and says, “I hate you!” Immanuel is God-with-us when you pack the Christmas decorations away and realize that your one son never did call over the holidays. Not once. Immanuel is God-with-us when your dear wife or mother stares at you with an Alzheimer’s glaze and absently asks, “What was your name again?”
Ever and always Jesus stares straight into you with his two good eyes and he does so not only when you can smile back but most certainly also when your own eyes are full of tears. In fact, Jesus is Immanuel, “God with you” even in those times when you are so angry with God that you refuse to meet his eyes. But even when you feel like you can’t look at him, he never looks away from you. He can’t. His name says it all. – Adapted from Scott Hoezee
PRAYER: Thank you for your magnificent name that gives us comfort and hope and which describes perfectly Who You Are! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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