- Adam Lorenz
God with us: three simple words that hold so much meaning and potential for us all. They can serve as source of power, strength, and confidence. There is a temptation that lay just under the surface to see our Emmanuel as far off, dominantly ruling His creation. In doing so, we’d dangerously trade out ‘God with us’ for ‘God over us’.
It’s important to remember that in our story we see God taking on flesh, beginning with a vulnerable infant that clung to His mother’s chest rather than the obvious victor most desired, an infant that somehow could offer the world nothing and everything at the same time. This is the first image of the Savior, the One on whom all things were made and all things will be made new through.
Ask any parent of a newborn to describe the hopes and dreams they have for their new child and you’ll be blown away with the potential they see. It is as if anything is possible. Parents will do everything they can to join with their child in helping them step towards these hopes and dreams. Within a child there is great hope: for them and for us, for the present and the future.
It is this ‘with’-ness that is at work in our Emmanuel. We find an invitation to participate and to join with, to eagerly anticipate what is to come with a God that has chosen to be with His creation rather than to simply Lord over it. There is a larger story we are asked to enter into, for there is a part for all of us to play.
This Christmas season we are asked to look forward toward the birth of our Christ - this Jesus, the Emmanuel. To explore what it means to understand God as one who is journeying with us in ushering the Kingdom that is promised. So from the taking out of the trash to the feeding of the thousands, from the way we drive to the way we laugh with a stranger – how does the reality that God is here, with all of us, in these moments, change how we might engage them? Will we cling to the hope that is present in the most dire of circumstances, we will love the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of—knowing that God is somehow with us, even there?
God is with us.
God is with you.