“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”Matthew 1:23 (NLT)
Immanuel. It’s a name that isn’t too common in the English-speaking world today. I’m not sure why that is, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. It’s a pretty cool name, in my opinion. It sounds somewhat regal, yet personable. You can easily make nicknames for it: Manny, Manuel, Imma, etc. Maybe you can think of some others.
But, to just regard Immanuel as a name is missing the point. Immanuel is rich in meaning. You see, more than 2,500 years ago, that name showed up in the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed it centuries before the name would ever be used. He used it to describe the name of the Messiah who would be coming. In addition to many other names Isaiah used – Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting – Immanuel was rich in meaning. So, what did it relate? It’s quite simple, “God with us.”
Have you ever stopped to ponder the enormity of that name? What does it mean to have “God with us?” Is it just a cool Twitter-sized sound bite, or does it really mean something? Stop for a moment and contemplate that. What does it mean to you? To the Israelites, it meant that God hadn’t forgotten them. He not only remembered them, but He was coming to save them. To us in the 21st century, it can mean so many different things. To me, it means that my God, my Savior, will always be by my side, no matter what this life throws at me. He will never abandon me. He will never leave me. He will fight for me. He will save me. He will lead me to my eternal home in His kingdom. So, I ask again, what does Immanuel mean to you? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments. I love to hear words of inspiration!
And, at this Christmas season, may the words “Merry Christmas” carry that same connotation. Merry Christmas is a reminder that Jesus came to this earth to be with you. He desires to save you, love you, and bless you.
Wherever life finds you today family, may our Immanuel richly bless you and those you love.
P.S. The Daily Dose will resume after the 1st of the year. 🙂