Immanuel is a name for Christ we hear often during the Advent season. It is taken from several prophecies found in Isaiah that we accept as a references to Jesus and then we see it explicitly applied in Matthew 1:23. The name literally means God with us and as such you can see why during Christmas this word is used. I mean what we celebrate that time of year is God, in bodily form as Jesus, came to dwell with mankind. God with us. But it has been front and center in my mind over the last couple of weeks.
It really started with the first week of this current series, Belief Project, as we discussed the Trinity. In that teaching we covered the roles of the Godhead; God the Creator, God the Redeemer and God the Comforter. How each member of the Godhead played specific roles in the redemptive plan of salvation for man. As such I began to think about the role that God the Holy Spirit plays now in the life of the believer and the Church. He abides with us.
And then last week I met with a friend of mine who is planting a church in Milwaukee. He is naming his church Immanuel Community. As I read that at the top of the page it struck me, God with us. As I thought about the Holy Spirit being fully God I was reminded that Immanuel doesn't simply represent the act of God the Son who came and dwelt with mankind 2000 years ago but it declares how God continues to dwell with us by the Holy Spirit. I know that might seem elementary but do we really live in the full understanding that God is with us. When we are sick do we realize God is with us? When we can't pay the bills do we realize God is with us? When we are struggling in our relationships do we realize God is with us? When we come together as the Church do we realize God is with us? We are not alone and God is not far off but God is with us always in all circumstances and all situations. God the healer is here. God the provider is here. God the redeemer is here. God the provider is here.
Immanuel is not just a Christmas word but in the life of a believer anointed by God the Holy Spirit is an always word. God is with us.