We celebrate Jesus’ birth as the beginning of the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah that God is with us in him. Immanuel is the Hebrew transliteration meaning with us is God. Everyone of those words is significant and full in their meaning. The god we speak of is not the god so many of us may have in our minds. This god is the god revealed in scripture and in a final, full sense in Jesus. Only then can we begin to understand what God really means.
And God is present. His Presence is made known through Jesus by the Spirit. Of course the word itself points to the Word himself, God’s inscripturated word points to his final Word, his Son, Jesus. God is present and active, making himself known through and in Jesus. God is hidden from us because we don’t have eyes to see, or a heart to understand. Only through Jesus can we by Jesus begin to understand and know God.
And God is with us. Not just with us as a bunch of individuals in our separate lives, though that also is true. But with us as a community together. Especially with us in that way. Where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is present in a special way. And the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Mystery here, to be sure. But the point we need to take home and ever keep before us is that in Jesus God is with us, and if we want to get to know God better through Jesus, this is not only an individual endeavor, but a communal, community endeavor.
And this is not just for us. It doesn’t stop there. We in Jesus are his body for the entire world no less. His body broken, not just for ourselves and our blessing, but for the blessing through us in Jesus of the world. That God might more and more be make known in his essence in Jesus as Immanuel.