Emmanuel – God with us.
With may well be the greatest word in Christian reality.
At the heart of Christmas is the grand theme of Incarnation. God come into ‘human flesh’ in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. C.S. Lewis called it the grand miracle.
This identification with humanity and the creation has at its heart God’s desire and intention for relationship with us. God with us means that we can be saved in every aspect of our humanity.
God coming in the flesh means that in the face of Jesus we can know God – we can see his glory. God with us means that we find comfort in the midst of all our suffering. We are not alone – God himself has become subject to the brokenness of the world both in solidarity and in salvation.
God with us means that creation, that stuff is really important.
The good life, the spiritual life is embodied and em-placed and that is good. God with us means that it will ultimately not be left behind but rather made new.