I think one of the most precious and meaningful truths of Christmas is the fact that Jesus, the one born of Mary on Christmas day, is referred to as “Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’” in Matthew 1:22-23 (completing and fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14).
“God with us!” – what a thought, what a truth! Apostle John picked up on it and declared, “The Word [Jesus, Himself] became flesh [human] and dwelt [or lived} among us!” (John 1:14)
I just finished re-reading the wonderful autobiographical story of Bruce Olson – or “Bruchco,” Christian missionary with the Motilone Barí Indians, an indigenous tribe in Colombia and Venezuela. He struggled greatly to explain the truth of Jesus to the Motilones. One day, as a flash of God-given insight, he explained it this way… God came down and “walked all of our trails with us!”
That is the wonderful story of Christmas and the truth of the “incarnation!”
I don’t know the trail you’re on today! I am aware of what some of you are experiencing… pain, sorrow, temptation, loss, abandonment, isolation, or danger. Some of you are even facing death this Christmas… Hard trails! Here’s the wonderful truth of “Immanuel, God with us” … He has “walked your trail” – and He, our risen Lord and Savior will, “walk the trail with you!”
Here’s how the writer of Hebrews in the Bible expressed it: “It was necessary for Him to be made in every respect like us, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest… Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested!” (From Hebrews 4:17-18 NLT)
“Immanuel” – “God came down to walk our trails!” We do not walk alone – He walks with us! The wonderful truth of Christmas!