Name him “Emmanuel” – pathway to hope
In Matthew's pre-Christmas reading, Christ is not simply given two names. He's given two names that embody the promises that God makes with his people.
A promise that says to you, to me, to all humankind: Do not fear. God is with us. In Christ, God is bringing us from slavery & death into a Kingdom of life and freedom.
And if that is not something to give us hope ... to put a spring into our step ... a joy in our hearts ... I don't know what us!
At Christmas, we celebrate Emmanuel - that God comes among us; that God is with us. We celebrate Jesus ... that God saves. We celebrate Christ ... the anointed one ... the Messiah.
And with hope in our hearts, we sing,
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.