” … they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means,”God is with us.”

Mt 1:23

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We fill our heads and lives with all sorts of things we must remember: our social security number, password to this and password to that.  We carry each day a seemingly endless number of things in our head – an agenda of “to do’s,”  things to remember – the purchase of a birthday card for someone living far away that “must” be sent soon to arrive on time, the need to pick up this or that, or him or her at an appointed hour, to call for an appointment here for then, and there for then …

But do we remember the most important things?  The simple things that change entirely how we live?

You ask: “Like what?”

I answer: “Emmanuel” and its meaning – “God is with us.”

Judging from the loneliness we feel and see around us, it seems we forget the most important thing – that we are NOT alone – – – ever.

We miss the obvious.  In a demanding secular culture we rarely think “Emmanuel.”  We rarely think in a given day that “God is with us.”  Yet it has a value and place as the foundation of our life.  It gives us stability.  With this what can throw us off stride, shake our confidence? Nothing.

Yes, loneliness is a part of the human condition, a sense of it is part of the fabric of a human person – the under side of our search for God, and the mediation of God in relationship, loving relationship.

Emmanuel: God is with us.

Why that thought, this name?  This designation assigned to Jesus, the Messiah?

Does this not say something to us of prime importance, a multiplicity of significant things?  Does it not say that once alone, we now are loved into never being alone – lonely no longer, alone never?  Forsaken not?  Is this not the triumphant side of life itself, our existence?

Is God not saying in this and in Christ – I give you what you need, no longer to be alone, estranged, overlooked, left out?

The world is a place in which we are easily forgotten, rejected, left, dismissed, discounted.  But, alas, in Christ – God is with us.

Do not forget the most important thing.  Remembering all else will not suffice … remembering one thing will – Emmanuel.

Shalom.

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