Nancy Taylor Tate
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
For the United States, and other nations of the world, Christmas is a time when those who choose to so, celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the Son of God, yet to a lowly manger He came in the form of a babe born of a virgin. He was subject to His parents as He grew up, tested in the wilderness, and faithful in public ministry. He fully overcame as a man, then as the spotless Lamb of God, offered Himself for our sins, totally paying the price, that through faith we might be restored and live in right relationship with God.
Recently, a close friend of mine went home to be with the Lord. Their life was marked by the presence of the Lord, and they loved to teach from the tabernacle. Their son gave me a picture of the tabernacle which had been theirs, and I hung it on the wall in my office. As I would walk by and look at it, it reminded me of them, and I would feel sad. But one day as I looked at that tabernacle surrounded by tents, the words “I will dwell in the midst of you” became alive in me and filled my heart! What a treasure my friend left me with!
Emmanuel! God with us! The tabernacle gives us a beautiful picture of this reality – that which is ours under the New Covenant through the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of circumstance or situation. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). He has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). We all will have times of testing and times of blessing. He is with us in every season!
Even now, different ones are facing different situations. For some it is a time of joy and laughter. For others, there is a tinge of sadness or even loneliness. Whatever your season, may embracing “God in the midst of us” make your joy even more joyful, or fill your heart as it has mine.
Emmanuel! God with us! He is with us! May that truth be a comfort and encouragement to you! A reality, as we honor the Lord Jesus Christ together, giving thanks to Him for His presence and steadfast love.