14 Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel.
With. It’s a simple word, but full of meaning.
With means together. In the company of. In other words, not alone.
The name Immanuel means “God with us.” In the prophet Isaiah’s time, it was a sign meant to convey to the people that God had not abandoned Israel – that God was still with them.
The world is facing an epidemic of loneliness. In the UK, a member of the Cabinet is now known as “Minister for Loneliness” following the release of a 2017 report showing how widespread the problem has become. This Cabinet Minister is working through the National Health Service and other agencies to tackle the issue.
How ironic that in the age of instant communication, so many still feel so alone!
The prophecy was true in Isaiah’s time, and even more true with the birth of Jesus. I wonder if Jesus’ most important title is not Savior or even Lord. Perhaps his most important title is Emmanuel – God with us.
God with us in our good times. God with us in our heartaches and struggles. God beside us no matter what we’re going through. God to carry us when we can’t hold ourselves up.
Being with is simply what love does. Being with someone you love makes good things great – and bad things better. Jesus entered the world as Emmanuel to be with us. With him, we are never alone, thanks be to God!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Who has been a sign of Christ’s presence in your life during a time of difficulty or hardship?
Is there someone you know who might appreciate a visit from you, or even just to hear from you today?