“God with you” provides the distiguished opportunity for “you with God.”[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
In the events leading up to the birth of Jesus, Joseph is visited by an angel in a dream. The details of Jesus’ birth are laid before Joseph. The son, born of the virgin Mary is to be named Jesus (“God saves”). Additionally, he is identified as Immanuel, “God with us.” What does it mean that Jesus is God with us?
Jesus is God. He is, in his very essence, one with the Father and the Spirit. He is not divided from the Trinity but one with the Trinity. He is “true God from true God” as echoed in the Nicene creed. He is God in particular not in general. “In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1.19).
The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.) gives 10 descriptions to the preposition “with.”
- accompanied by (another person or thing) sandwich with chips; a. in the same direction as: swim with current; b. along with: wisdom comes with age
- possessing something as a feature: shirt with collar
- indicating the instrument used to perform an action: cut with knife
- in opposition to: fighting with one another
- indicating the manner or attitude of the person doing something: with reluctance
- indicating responsibility: leave it with me
- in relation to: father is pleased with me
- employed by: she’s with IBM
- affected by: walking with fear
- indicating separation or removal from something: to part with a dear possession
Us = human beings. Us in our world. Us in our daily lives. Us in our humanity. Us in our brokenness and sin. Us in our celebrations and catastrophes. Us in our joys and sadness. Us in our relationships and solitude. Us in our conversations and silence. Us in birth and death.
God is with you. He came to you that you might be with Him. That isn’t just true for those in the first century. It is true for you, now. You get to participate in what He is providing; to participate in the reality of God being with you.
Applying the descriptions of “with” to “God with us:”
- Jesus is accompanying you.
- Jesus is along with you – in the same direction.
- Jesus is possessing what you possess.
- Jesus is the means or instrument of your actions.
- Jesus is in opposition to you.
- Jesus is filling you.
- Jesus is taking on your responsibilities.
- Jesus is relating to you.
- Jesus is at your service.
- Jesus is affected by you.
God is with you now in Jesus Christ. The Triune God – Father, Son, Spirit – are with you in Jesus Christ.
A Challenging Question
The question then becomes: Are you with Him? Look at the list above and insert yourself first and insert Jesus for “you/your” and see how you come out.
Don’t let “God with us” remain a cliche, theory, or only a doctrinal belief. Seek to live it in your every day life as you participate with the God who is with you.
Share below your struggles and/or delights of this kind of living.