Every Christmas season I go back to the original Christmas story. I've read it or had it read to me more than 100 times in my life time. Every season something different pops out at me -- something I want to sit with and chew on. This year what I've been ruminating on is the name everyone was instructed to call the baby -- God with us or Immanuel.
God with us, not above us, not somewhere down the road, not estranged but God with us. There are no restrictions, simply God with us. Not God with those who have more than I do, not God with those who are religious. God with us. God where we are.
I love to read. Making a list of my favorite authors is impossible because I've gained so much from so many. Somewhere at the top of the list would be author Max Lucado. There is something about the way he turns a phrase that is an extravagant gift. A simple sentence can be mind-blowing, gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring all at once. He says, "The manger dares to believe the best."
Lucado muses that Gabriel, the archangel, most of asked this perplexing question, "God will become a baby?"
"There is something about keeping Jesus Divine that keeps him distant, packaged, predictable." The people seeing him first experienced him as human -- one of them.
God gets us.
God. With. US.