The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
My dad asked me the other day what Christmas gifts I enjoyed as a child. The gifts that immediately came to mind were desks that my dad had spent weeks making for me and my sister, and puppets and dolls’ clothes that my mum had made for us. I maybe didn’t fully appreciate, as a child, how much time and love had one into those presents, but something must have resonated as they are the ones I remember fondly: someone who loved me dearly had given me something they had made and that was special. But my parents gave me something even more special than handmade gifts: they told me about Jesus.
I don’t know if my own kids remember what we gave them last Christmas, but I don’t really mind- all I want them to remember is why we really celebrate Christmas. God sent something of Himself- the greatest gift of love- His son, Jesus Christ. He came to bring light into this dark world; to bring hope amidst despair; and to cancel out all our sins if we simply trust in Him. And Christ came so that we would know, every moment of every day, that God is with us!
Let those words- ‘God is with us’- be our meditation this Christmastime. As we do our Christmas shopping, remember- God is with us. As we wonder if we have time to get through everything on our to-do list, remember- God is with us. As we sing familiar carols, remember the words are true and- God is with us. As we enjoy the magic of watching children on Christmas morning- let our hearts give thanks for the gift of Immanuel- God is with us! And may our children know, and never forget, that God is with them.
He will never leave us or forsake us and He reigns forever