What I’m Thinking: God With Us

Matthew describes Jesus with the ancient name, “Emmanuel,” “God with us.” Certainly Jesus was God with us – and so, in a different way, is every human being.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 1:18-25), the section that begins with these words, “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.” With these casual words Matthew introduces a section filled with remarkable events: Mary’s unexpected and miraculous pregnancy, Joseph’s visions, and – what many women consider would no doubt consider miraculous – Joseph coming to believe what Mary had said to him.

In these days when women so often find themselves discounted, disregarded, or disbelieved, we should remember that, yes, Joseph failed to believe Mary when she told him the truth. But he did come to trust her and to trust her truthful word.

Matthew also quotes from the prophet Isaiah speaking of the birth of a child to be called Emmanuel, “God with us.” You know, I think that every child, every human being is, by virtue of being created in the image of God, another “God with us.” Not, perhaps, with Jesus’ saving powers, but worthy of the same regard, the same compassion, the same embrace.

I cannot help reading this story of the birth of God with us without recalling what Jesus himself said (and that Matthew recorded toward the end of his gospel). Jesus told the story about a judge separating people who had cared for their neighbors from people who had not, and telling them that when they did so, they cared for him; when the failed to do so, they failed to care for him.

Certainly God was with us in a unique and powerful way in Jesus the child of Bethlehem, the prophet of Nazareth, the savior of Calvary, the resurrected Christ. We dare not forget the Messiah is with us in every single human being. Each one of them, each one of us, each one of you is worthy of our love, our compassion, and our care: our embrace as a sign of God with us.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , , | Posted on December 16, 2019

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