Posted by: pastordarren | December 16, 2008

Emmanuel, God With Us

There was a song a while back that I remembered as I was working on Advent and Christmas events and services.  The song has the line, “God is watching us, from a distance.”  Many people liked this song and it was played quite frequently on the radio.  While this song was popular, it contained some poor theology.

Let me explain what I mean –

Emmanuel, one of the names refering to Jesus, means ‘God with us’.  In the birth of Jesus, God came to be with us in a very real and personal way.  He was born, grew, lived and went through everything that we do.  God was with us and not watching us from a distance.

But God did not leave us when Jesus was taken to heaven following His resurrection, God sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to be with us, guide us, and remind us of what Jesus said and did.  God is still with us in a very personal way.

Sometimes is seems as though God is distant because of the things happening around us and in our world.  We wonder where God is and why these bad things happen.  Yet it is in this Baby born in a manger, that God has come to be with us, to walk with us, cry with us, laugh with us, be with us in the good and bad times.

This advent and Christmas season, remember that Jesus’ birth means that God is with us and is still with us and He will eventually return to take us home.  Let us open our hearts and our minds to His presence with us.  Let us come to the manger in simple worship and simple praise of Emmanuel, God is with us now and forever!


  1. What if the writer/performer actually felt that way, that God was distant. Knowing of this artist only by news reports, tabloids, and rumour, I’ve often wondered whether this was a particular time in her life when things weren’t so righteous. There have been times in my life where I’ve chosen a path that I knew was not where God wanted me, but I chose it anyway. I tell myself He’s watching because the thought of His being with me gets in my way. You see, if I acknowledge that God is with me, then I have no excuse for the path I’ve chosen because I can use HIS strength to avoid it. Of course, He’s there whether I choose to acknowledge it or not and in my disobedience He will “step aside” and let me experience the consequences of my actions. THAT is when He feels most distant to me. If I recall correctly, the artist was heavily scrutinized for releasing this song in secular, mainstream radio and not too much later found herself ostracized by the Christian community for a while after a bigger secret was revealed.

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