The Bible is full of powerful statements about God's intervention in our lives: God watches over us, God goes before us, and if God is for us who can be against us.
God watching over us talks about God's protection and care for his children. Just as earthly parents make sure their children are taken care of with their needs provided and out of harm’s way, God makes sure that our needs are met and our ways are safe.
God goes before us shows us the Creator guiding our steps and providing direction to our lives. We don't have to worry about having a purpose because God is our guide. We would go through difficulties and obstacles, yet we can rest assured that we would cross to the other side of the valley because the designer of the path is leading us.
God is for us talks about him being our defender, our secure place. The Powerful of Heaven stands in defense of our souls against the attacks of our enemy and we can stand assured that no weapon against us could destroy our soul because the Lord of Hosts is for us, on our side.
Nonetheless, there is one statement that I believe is even more powerful than these.
The prophet Isaiah spoke about Jesus in this way: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Immanuel. What a beautiful name! Now God would not only be watching over us, walking in front of us, and protecting us. Now God was coming to be with us, to be our companion—leaving a place in glory to be humbled—to be able to relate to you and me in our humanity.
We would not have to be alone any more. The God of the universe would walk by our side every day. God would be right there when we are excited, sad, hurt, and even angry. God would be the shoulder to cry upon, the chest to rest upon. God would be with us in a personal way as never before.
In fact, He is with us today! He is Immanuel.
A year ago on December 16, 2013, we bid farewell to Joanne Green-Colon, a most faithful follower of Jesus. She will always remain known as a remarkable, talented, energetic, and creative woman who touched many lives in the Rochester community and elsewhere for Jesus.
This reflection, written on November 22, 2013 is published today in honor of Joanne with the permission of her family.
Joanne Green-Colon, M.Div. ’05 was pastor of Heart & Soul Community Church, Rochester, N.Y., and taught Church History and Children’s Ministry in the Certificate in Ministry Program at Northeastern Seminary.