Emmanuel, God With Us

Christmas is a season that is full of traditions, both secular and sacred.  The birth of the Messiah has been a source of great celebration since that very first night that the shepherds were visited by the angels.  Lights, trees, knickknacks and trinkets litter our houses and yards as part of this unique celebration.  One place that many of us connect with the Spirit of God in Christmas is through music.  Last Sunday our Christmas cantata included many traditional carols that cheered and trumpeted the Saviors birth.

I have truly enjoyed finding my voice in song.  It might surprise some of you that I had never sang in church, or any other place for that matter, until I was in my twenties.  While in seminary I decided to join the seminary choir for the Lessons and Carols Service.  It was a new experience to share in worship leadership through song.  That year I went home for Christmas and was recruited to sing a duet on Christmas Eve.  Some how I went from never singing to singing a duet of a song that I didn’t know.

That first song I sang as a duet was,  Amy Grant’s “Emmanuel, God With Us.”  As I learned the words and notes I remember thinking to myself, “How did I get here, singing a contemporary song on Christmas Eve?”  Then the words of the song took hold of me.

We dim the light, we stoke the fire, we breathe the ever-green. Young ones wait while the old ones make up, tales of how it used to be. China dolls, candy corn, painted wooden toys. Treasures found to the wondrous sound, of caroling the Savior born to us on Christmas morn.

Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us.                     The son of Israel.buy cheap cialis online


And still he calls through the night, beyond the days of old, a voice of peace to the weary ones, who struggle with the human soul. All of us travelers, through a given time, who can know what tomorrow holds,  but over the horizon surely you and I will find

Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us.                     The son of Israel.

And the years they come, and the years they go, though we may forget somehow that the child once born in Bethlehem, is still among us now.

Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us.                     The son of Israel.

     This song has been special to me not because I nailed it when I sang with my old friend Ken Griffin, but because the words remind me each year of how easy it is to loose sight of what we are celebrating.  Traditions, customs, and parties are not the gift of this season.  Jesus, “Emmanuel, God with us” is the cause for great joy in the world.  While the Christ Child was born long ago, he is still here.  The God of all creation has chosen to dwell among us.  No secular tradition can take the place of that great, eternal and sacrificial gift of love and grace.


1 thought on “Emmanuel, God With Us

  1. Thanks for sharing that story Geoff. Life is ever changing isn’t it? The experiences we have are like little treasures in our heart and soul. There are so many struggling at this time of year. It is so hard for many. I think it’s because Christmas DOES make you remember your childhood and the innocense that we had in the old days.

    Life is ROUGH on many and even harder for those who do not know Christ. I really pray that everyone remembers that giving of themselves is worth more than all the gifts under the tree. In addition, to remember that they are not alone and that all they have to do is ask God for what is needed and believe it is already being taken care of by Him.

    Have a wonderful Christmas!!

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