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EMMANUEL – GOD IS WITH US! by Fr. Linh

EMMANUEL – GOD IS WITH US!

Rev. Linh N. Nguyen

 

During Advent, we sing the liturgical song, “O come, O come, Emmanuel.” Emmanuel is the name given to the child born of the virgin, according to Isaiah 7:14. The name is interpreted in Matthew 1:23 meaning “God is with us.”

 

Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Emmanuel as God’s sign to Israel of hope of deliverance at a time when enemies threatened to take Jerusalem. The sign was that a virgin would conceive and bear a child whom she would call Emmanuel.

 

From that time on, the name of “Emmanuel” is to be the motto for God’s people, the word of hope, no matter how desperate conditions become among men. He is the hope because His name means that God is with us. This would indicate that the one born of the virgin is more than man. He is God.

 

Isaiah’s prophesy was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, recorded by the Evangelist Matthew 1:23. The meaning of Jesus’ birth is that now God is truly with us in the person of Jesus the Christ.

 

The image of “God is with us” is portrayed by several stories in the Old Testament, particularly in the story of God’s revelation to Moses. One day, when Moses was about eighty years old, God confronted him in a burning bush as he wandered on the hills of the Sinai mountains. He gave to Moses a great commission, to lead the Israelite slaves out of Egypt into the land of Canaan.

 

When Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?, He answered, “I will be with you; and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain.” (Exodus 3:11-12). Hence, the answer to all Moses’ fears was simply this – “God is with you.”

 

In the follow-on scenario, God replied to Moses, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14). From this answer of God comes that special name for God which is found throughout Scripture – Yahweh – the covenant name of God known by His people “the God who will be with us.”

 

In the New Testament, the coming of Christ is seen as the fulfillment to the utmost of the promise of God to be with His people. At His birth, Jesus was shown to be Emmanuel. He is indeed “God is with us” in the flesh. This meaning was fully developed in the New Testament.

 

The Evangelist John develops this concept more exhaustively than any other writer of the New Testament. For example, John records that Nicodemus believed that God was with Jesus (John 3:2), and later Jesus assured the disciples that the Father was with Him (8:29; 16:32). From this comes the further assurance that Christ would be with the disciples for a little while in the flesh (7:33; 12:35; 13:33; 17:12). Then before His ascension, Jesus assured them that He would never truly leave or forsake them, but be with them forever (Matthew 28:20).

 

Before His ascension, Jesus taught His disciples that His leaving them in the flesh would make it possible for His Spirit to be with them forever (John 14:16). In the Book of Acts, the disciples were assured that Christ was now still with them (18:10). Therefore, they were able to guarantee believers that Christ was and would continue to be with His Church. They constantly spoke of the God of peace; and the grace of the Lord being with the believers.

 

When Jesus was on earth, He prayed that the believers should be with Him forever (John 17:24). The book of Revelation states that in fulfillment of this prayer, the Tabernacle of God in heaven will be with the faithful forever (21:3). But most importantly, the Tabernacle of Jesus in every Catholic Church is with the faithful now and forever.

 

A story was told that two missionaries were captured and imprisoned in the same cell but forbidden to speak to each other. Christmas came. One of the missionaries, shivering and silent, sat on the floor covered with hay.

 

As he was playing with bits of hay around him, he thought that he discovered a silent way of communicating with his friend. He spelled out the word Emmanuel. As soon as his friend saw the word, immediately he lit up with joy. They were captives, but they both believed that God was with them and that ultimate triumph would be theirs.

 

This Christmas let us find a variety of ways of showing to others that God is indeed Emmanuel – God is with us.

 


This article was published on Friday 03 December, 2010.

Back to main topic: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
ADULTERY
THIS POOR WIDOW PUT IN MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS
CHRIST WILL RETURN WITH GREAT POWER AND GLORY
YOU SAY I AM A KING
BASILICAS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL
THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
CHRISTMAS
YOUR REDEMPTION IS AT HAND
GOD’S PROMISES IN ADVENT
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF ECUMENISM
WE NEED ADVENT!
WE SAW HIS STAR AT ITS RISING AND HAVE COME TO DO HIM HOMAGE
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SIGN
EPIPHANY
WHEN JESUS HAD BEEN BAPTIZED AND WAS PRAYING, HEAVEN WAS OPENED
ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD
“WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”
GOD KNEW ME BEFORE I WAS BORN
GOD IS LOVE
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY
“THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME.”
THE LAST EIGHT DAYS IN THE ADVENT SEASON
HIS PARENTS FOUND JESUS SITTING IN THE MIDST OF THE TEACHERS.
MARY – “MOTHER OF GOD”
WHETHER THE BLESSED VIRGIN SHOULD BE CALLED THE MOTHER OF GOD?
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
WHETHER THE BAPTISM OF JOHN WAS FROM GOD
WHETHER IT WAS FITTING FOR CHRIST TO BE BAPTIZED WITH JOHN’S BAP
JESUS TURNS WATER TO WINE

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