When Joseph determined to quietly break his engagement with Mary (his betrothed wife) because of her pregnancy, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel reassured him that Mary’s pregnancy was caused by the Holy Spirit, and she would bear a son, and they would call him Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. Isaiah prophesied that a virgin would bear a son and they would call his name Immanuel, meaning God with us. Joseph did as the angel commanded, took Mary as his wife, and when the baby was born, he called his name Jesus.
Roughly 700 years before the time of Joseph and Mary, the great prophet Isaiah had proclaimed that a virgin would bear a child who would be Immanuel, literally “God with us.” Just a little Hebrew lesson, Immanuel is essentially three words squished together: ‘Im’ is with, ‘anu’ means us, and ‘El’ is a Hebrew word for God. This child born of the Virgin was God with us.
Almighty eternal God, we thank you that you came to be with us, and that you continue to be with us by the Holy Spirit.
“More fundamentally, the Bible tells us that God must draw us into relationship with himself before we can respond to him acceptably. The worship provisions of the Old Testament are presented as an expression of the covenant relationship established by God between himself and Israel. Similarly, in the New Testament, worship theology is intimately connected with the establishment and outworking of the new covenant. Acceptable worship under both covenants is a matter of responding to God’s initiative in salvation and revelation, and doing so in the way that he requires.”
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. p. 19.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Emmanuel, God with Us, Matthew 1.18-25
Peterson, Engaging with God