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Emmanuel, which means “God with Us”

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)


THIS IS HOW THE LORD, through the Prophet Isaiah, communicated the new relationship that unites us with Himself. Christ is called Emmanuel, which alludes to the relationship that came into effect through Christ's birth, and brought to us not only God's message, but also His presence. Through this new relationship, God, in Christ, becomes our life and as Christ enters the very core of our lives, we are brought near to God.

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If Christ has become the head and consummation of our faith, then through Him every one of us now lives and moves and has our being! The instant we accept Him as God and Savior and are ready to testify to that before all, even though it costs us our live, the true Christian life begins, with Christ as its head and guarantor. As we resort to Christ before we speak, or talk, or work, or make a decision, Christ truly lives in us, and we are not the ones who live. By this we enter into the sphere of the glorious power; tasting, seeing, and feeling God's glory: "The glory which though has not given me I have given to them" (John 17:22.) If a man stops feeling the warmth of God's glory that Christ granted him, he may be sure that he has left the sphere of His presence. If he is honest, then he will stop immediately and not move, speak, plan or walk. If he fails to do this, the Divine power that works through Christ's presence will cease to function. When this happens, he will stumble through life like a blind man groping along "[a]nd does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (1 John 2:11.) "He who follows Me will not walk in darkness" (John 8:12.)

So we realize that Christ's name "Emmanuel" is in itself a proclamation of Christ's work in our lives as our guide and leader, and we must cling to Him as we cling to life itself. Life without Emmanuel, meaning without God and His work in us with all His power as guide and leader, ceases to be a Christian life in the Lord. It has lost its aim, even lost its way completely, like a ship without a pilot, driven along by the waves.

It is for this reason that Christ said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life" (John 14:6.) Christ reveals Himself as the one who must always be in us. If He is not, there will be no way, no truth, and no life. He also says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 1:8.) He uses this name, because He knows the importance of His existence in our lives. Without Him our days will have no beginning or end, but will be as flat as the floor, unregistered in the registry of life, like debris, unwritten by God's hand.



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