For years, around the Christmas season I sang the songs and listened to the messages revolving around the name Emmanuel, without ever really taking the meaning of the name literal. Most of us know that Emmanuel means, “God with us”, but often time we see it as a name, and not a reality in our day to day lives. Jesus’ role is to literally be with us always. Every moment of the day His goodness and love pursue us (Ps 139:6) and that reality is worth all the celebration and thankfulness we can give Him.
He is Emmanuel, a God who is here with us always coming in close, making all of the wrong right again. Jesus’ tangible, personal, and real presence is available for us all.
You're like summer in the night The sun goes down but still I feel You And every shadow's turning bright Every broken heart is made new Oh, You're not far away You're coming close And oh, even as I wait You're coming close And there's no heart unseen There's no space between You and I You and I You are closer than The very oxygen I'm breathing in Oh, I breath You in You are God with us You are here with us Emmanuel! Emmanuel! You are infinite Your glory has no end Jesus! Jesus! "Starlight" by Amanda Cook
Yet, the very month we as Christians are celebrating Jesus coming to this earth–His presence being made available to us, is the very month we struggle to find the time to take Him up on His offer. The offer that says, “come Be with me”. Yet, I know I’m not the only one rushing around, attending endless parties, and all the fun things that come along with the holiday season. In the end, all of the fun usually only leaves us feeling pretty maxed.
We are so busy doing, that we leave no time to just be.
While we can’t always sit in stillness and quiet, reading His word, and praying, we can always make finding time to be with Him priority. Although He is always with us, even in the busy, it is when we seek Him that we are most fulfilled. He satisfies our souls like no other.
Psalm 16:11 says,
You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.
The neat thing about this scripture is that there is actually no Hebrew word for “presence.” When the Psalmist wanted to speak of God’s presence, he used the Hebrew word for “face.” It’s when we continually seek His face that we begin to take on His image and reflect that image to everyone around us. His image looks like love.
The Lord is such a loving Father who longs for an authentic relationship with us. He lights up when we make time to be with Him.
When a king’s face lights up, there is life;
his favor is like a cloud with spring rain. Proverbs 16:15
In these last few weeks of this December madness, lets push pause and say no to some of the things that fill our calendar. Lets regain focus and rest, remembering what is most important. Let’s steal away with Him and make His face light up. After all, Christmas is much more special once we take in “God with us” as a real life relationship we make time for.