In Hebrew, Immanuel means “God with us.” What a revolutionary concept! The God of the universe, Creator of all things, infinite and omnipotent deity, Jesus, took on human flesh to be like us and to be with us. Immanuel, God with us…but who is included in the term, “us?” Are the glories of the incarnation revolutionary enough to include all of us? Isaiah gives us a vision of the scope of the Messiah’s work in this prophecy regarding the coming Christ:
“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all humanity shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:5
All humanity. Immanuel, God with all humanity.
God, be with refugees crossing the Mediterranean, unsure if they will survive the trip.
God, be with children suffering from malnutrition, waiting for the famine in Yemen to end.
God, be with the relief workers, desperately negotiating with troops who are blocking aid from entering Aleppo.
God, be with all people in the United States, pondering what our new presidency will bring.
God, be with victims of international human trafficking, longing for an end to the abuse.
God, be with indigenous communities, clinging to their identity while resisting oppression.
God, be with South Sudan, perilously straddling the line between ethnic cleansing and genocide.
God, be with students around the world, coping with the stress of academic pressure in addition to external barriers to education.
God, be with us. Immanuel, God with all of us.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” – Revelation 7:9-10