Sunday, December 20, 2009

Emmanuel..."God With Us"

When people who are learning sign language think through some signs, they can see correlations with other signs. For example: the sign for “to register” or “to sign up” is a modification of the sign for “name” being placed on “paper”. The sign for “no” is a combo of the modified letters “N” and “O”. Realizing such things can serve as a memory aid when building one’s recall of the language’s vocabulary.

"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).

While thinking about this incredible truth recently, the sign for the word “with” came to mind. To help you visualize this, close the fingers of one hand with the thumb resting on the index finger and pointing upward. This is the sign for “self”, and can be used (by making the right motion or movement) to sign “himself”, “herself”, “myself”, “themselves”, etc. Using the sign with an upward/outward motion (as toward heaven) shows the signer is referring to God Himself.

When the two hands making the “self” sign join in front of the body, it becomes the sign for “with” – basically, “self” touching “self”.

Self coming in contact with self…what an excellent illustration of the word “Emmanuel (or “Immanuel”, as it is spelled in some translations). And if we think of the Himself (of God) coming down (go ahead, use your hands to visualize it) to yourself…and connecting – well, that’s even a better picture of the baby Christ-child entering the everyday-ness of life here on planet Earth.

GOD WITH US…incredible, isn’t it? And what has He promised His children a result?

“…For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

GOD WITH US…but there’s more:

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17).

While walking the dusty Jerusalem streets, sitting on a hillside or riding in a wind-tossed boat, the Lord Jesus was with His disciples. However, after His ascension, He returned in the person of the Holy Spirit to indwell them. Think about what that means. I can be a dear friend or family member, and have a very close relationship with someone as a result. But do I know them inside and out? Have I intimately experienced all the events that make their lives what they are today? Of course not. But as believers, God is both with us and in us. Because He has taken up residence in these bodies of ours, we aren’t just His “kin”, we’re His “skin”.

As we meditate on the incarnation - God with us - let us also ponder our salvation - God in us…forever!

Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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