I was reading the status updates of my friends on Facebook when a church friend of mine for many years (most of my life) posted this: "When our lives look like a mess, we can remember why Jesus was called Immanuel.
"They will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" Matthew 1:23"
Wow. You know, that just goes right along with what I'm feeling. On this Christmas Eve, I'm feeling completely overwhelmed. Not in a stressful, shopping overload and too much candy making to be done sort of way. But, I'm overwhelmed with His love. I feel His presence so strongly in my life that I just find myself wanting to fall on my face and worship Him. What has me so completely overwhelmed emotionally and mentally is that, as Matthew 1:23 tells us, He is with us. Not only did He create us, but He joined us. He was born into a physical body to be with us. Immanuel-God with us! He loves us THAT MUCH! Can we even begin to fathom His AGAPE love? What is AGAPE love?
Webster's dictionary defines "agape" in 2 forms, first as a noun, and also as an adjective or adverb.
1aga·pe noun \ä-ˈgä-(ˌ)pā, ˈä-gə-ˌpā\
Definition of AGAPE
: love feast
: love 4a
2agape adj or adv \ə-ˈgāp also -ˈgap\
Definition of AGAPE
: wide open : gaping
: being in a state of wonder
Did you catch that? being in a state of wonder. That's pretty much how I feel ALL the time when I think of God's love for me! So, Immanuel means God is with us. I mean He is WITH US! And, that, my friends, leaves me in a state of wonder. He came, as a helpless baby. Not for himself. I mean, he's GOD. It served HIM no purpose to put Himself through the torture He endured here. He did it for US. To reconcile us to Him. Because He loves us THAT MUCH that He desires to have that face to face relationship with us.
My own husband doesn't love me THAT much.
And love feast. Isn't that really what His love is? I mean, He wants us to feast on His love. He wants us to CRAVE Him, like the desert craves the rain!
This Christmas Eve, let's remember what we're celebrating. Let's take time to stand in wonder of the Love Feast He's offering us, and the fact that over 2000 years ago, IMMANUEL came. God With Us. Let's not forget that He is with us, and include Him in His own celebration :)