IMMANUEL
“and they will call Him Immanuel, meaning God with us.”
Matthew 1:23b

Mamie Lee, my roommate, was thousands of miles away from her Hong Kong home.  This Christmas of ‘56 was her first separation from her dear family.  Still her lovely alto voice blended with Mother’s soprano as they made cookies.  Each Christmas thereafter I have received a card from Mamie, reflecting on the warmth of her first American Christmas, spent “with us.”      

Years later, Bill and I watched the clock on December 21 as our son Al traveled icy roads, returning home from a BSU mission trip.  “Is he safe?  Would he be home at all?”  Imagine our delight to hear the tinkle of the door bell, to throw our arms around him, and to know our Christmas family complete, for Al was home “with us.” 

Another year all the family waited to open gifts until our daughter, a nurse, completed her hospital shift. What fun to see her bounce in with a Santa hat she had used to cheer patients earlier.  We could have Christmas now.  Bonnie was “with us.”

As these joys abound on a human level, how ecstatic our hearts must be to know His Gift, Immanuel, “God with us.”  Whether foxhole or nursing home, Christmas is sometimes stripped of tensile, delicacies, and loved ones, but to His children it never loses its joy; He is “with us.” 

~ Joanna Boyd