Each Christmas, I don't really go looking for it, but usually God brings to my mind a word or theme that speaks to my heart through scripture that I'm reading or songs that I hear. This year, I can't stop thinking about the name, Immanuel, which means, "God with us." I am pretty sure that this has been a theme for me in other years, probably for the same reasons that it is now.
I am generally having a peaceful and joyful Christmas so far, but I know that many people are struggling in different ways right now. Some years I have had a harder time getting into the Christmas spirit and there have been days this year that I had to fight off self-pity and holiday blues. I am thankful that on those days, God has gently reminded me that He is with me and that He sent His Son to this earth and named Him, Immanuel, "God with us." It is my prayer that others who are struggling, whether emotionally or physically or even financially, would be encouraged and comforted by this truth that God is with us and will never leave us.
Music is such a big part of my Christmas experience. I love to listen to Christmas music and have enjoyed participating in our church's Christmas choir for several years now. There are several "Immanuel" songs that I love, but one song that we traditionally sing at church is the one by Michael Card. It is so powerful and moves me each time I sing it.
by Michael Card
A sign shall be given, a virgin will conceive.
A human baby bearing undiminished Deity.
The glory of the nations, a light for all to see;
And hope for all who will embrace His warm reality.
Immanuel, our God is with us.
And if God is with us, who could stand against us?
Our God is with us, Immanuel.
For all those who live in the shadow of death,
A glorious light has dawned.
For all those who stumble in the darkness,
Behold, your light has come!
So what shall be your answer? Oh, will you hear the call
Of Him who did not spare His son, but gave Him for us all?
On earth there is no power, there is no depth or height
Could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ.
“Immanuel” – Michael Card, ©1986 Birdwing Music