Thursday, December 24, 2015


Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23 KJV)


We sing this name at Christmastime. "O come, O come, Emmanuel; and ransom captive Israel . . ." We read it in the story of Jesus' birth. It is wound into the fabric of this holiday, and yet we skim over its significance.

God with us.

God. Creator of the universe, the One whose words caused a sun to flame into being and a world to burst forth. The One who hung and named the stars, the One who formed a man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into his lungs. The King of all the kings that have ever been or ever will be; the Lord over every lord. A God so big we can't even begin to comprehend Him, a God who has no beginning or end because He always is. Just a glimpse of His power and majesty is enough to bring us to our knees. This is God.

With. This God pitched His tent among the sweltering throng of humanity. He entered this world in the weakest form possible, in the humblest place possible. He immersed Himself in our reality, in our lives of depravity. He walked the broken shards of our earth. The Author entered the story. Trading the glory of heaven for the constraints of mortal skin, He lived among us. And more than just being here physically, He was with us. On our side. Taking deep interest in us. Piecing our broken parts back together. Feeling our pain and joy and eventually sacrificing absolutely everything for our sake.

Us. Human beings, each one flawed. Individuals with struggles and cravings and skewed vision and inflated egos and world-trampled hearts. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, yet graced with the presence of One who was completely man and yet completely Godthe Perfect One. He could have shrunk back from our mess, but instead He waded right into it. And His entry changed everything.

Emmanuel—God with us—is the reason Christmas means so much. With this day we celebrate the beginning of what changed the world two thousand years ago. What changes us.

Again I say rejoice
For unto us is born
The Savior of the world

Take heart
Oh weary soul, take heart
For help is on its way
And holy is His name

This Christmas, remember the Savior who promises to be with you; who is right beside you now. He was born to die so that we might live. Indeed, the manger in which He was laid, contrary to popular belief, was actually carved not from wood but from stone, symbolizing the rocky tomb not far in His future.

Whatever your holidays look like this year—whether you're sitting around the glowing tree with your family or grieving a loved one or wishing the rifts in your world would mend—Jesus is with you. Never will He forsake you.

Emmanuel. God with us. God with me. God with you.

Merry Christmas!


  1. This is beautiful! I need these kinds of reminders because it's so easy to get caught up in all the busyness of the holiday season and forget Whom we're really celebrating. There's a new song we've been singing at church this Christmas called "Emmanuel" that this post reminded me of. Here's the link in case you're curious :)

    Wishing you the merriest of Christmases, Tracey!! <3

    1. We all need those reminders, that's for sure. Posts like these are almost always reminders to myself. :) Life is a cycle of remembering and forgetting (as Ted Dekker likes to say), and I think it's important to help each other remember together.

      Ooh, I love that song! We play that Chris Tomlin album every year. <3

      Thanks so much, and same to you, Mary! Though I am a day late. ^_^ <3

  2. A good reminder about what Christmas is really about.

    1. It's all to easy to forget sometimes. Merry (late) Christmas, Skye!!

  3. Oh my. I don't even have the words right now. This beautiful post has left me utterly speechless. How you explained each word, God With Us. Oh goodness, Tracey, you're going to make me cry.

    These past few days (really the whole MONTH) has been insanely busy for me and I think I have been slipping on focusing on the REAL meaning of the season. This is exactly what I needed today.

    I'm seriously near to tears. This was beautiful. You always allow God to use you to portray such powerful pictures of His eternal love. Thank you for this post!

    I hope you have an absolutely fantastic Christmas, dear buddy! <333

    1. And there you go and leave ME speechless. <333

      Your month too? Maybe it's with both of us working during the month of Christmas for the first time, but I felt as if I had much less time to anticipate Christmas or really focus on why it's so meaningful. *hugs* Guess we both needed this reminder.

      I'm so SO glad it blessed you, girl. It's incredibly humbling to receive comments like yours, so thank you.

      Merry Christmas to you too! I hope it was beautiful! <3

  4. That was beautiful, Tracey. Thank you.
    One of my favourite Christmas carols is 'O come O come Emmanuel'.
    A while ago I was listening to it with my glasses pushed up on my forehead, fingers pressed into my eyes, and wondering why I was weeping.
    Sometimes I need that reminder that I have indeed been ransomed, God is with me.
    What a thing to celebrate!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank YOU!

      That's one of my absolute favorites as well, and it has brought me to tears (or very nearly) many, many times. What a stunningly beautiful thought, that we have been ransomed and we are not alone. <3

      Merry Christmas!!

  5. Love this - absolutely beautiful! Have a lovely Christmas!!

    1. Thank you, Rebekah! I hope your Christmas was lovely too! ^_^

  6. This is really cool, Tracey! Thanks for sharing this. ^ ^ Merry belated Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Tori! Merry belated Christmas to you as well--and happy new year! ^_^