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).
God with us! These are beautiful words to our ears and our hearts during these difficult times in our nation and our world. Can you imagine what 2021 would have been like if God had not been with us?
On a starry, chilly night Jesus was born in a manger. Through Jesus’ birth God was saying many things to mankind. He was saying, “I love you. I want to save you. I am with you.” He is still saying that today. Oh, we really need God with us!
Think about Moses in the wilderness with the people of Israel. Their journey to the Promised Land was stalled. Moses was frustrated to the point of venting his frustration to God. Again, God promised that His presence would go with them. Moses answered, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Remember the American Express slogan ”Don’t leave home without it?” Our motto should be, “We will not go anywhere without God.”
Let us see Christmas for what it really is. The gifts, the lights, and all the trappings are beautiful, but there is so much more to Christmas than those things. Christmas is a celebration of the fact that God reminded us once again that His presence is still with us despite our failures and our weaknesses. So, as we spend time with family, open gifts, eat great meals and thoroughly enjoy the seasons — let us hold His words dear to our hearts: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Remember the name: Emmanuel, God with us.
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.