This is from a Christmas meditation I wrote in my 'paper journal' back in 1987 (and yes, it does strike me the tiniest bit oddly to think that 24 years ago, I was 7 years married, the father of three children, and writing theological meditations in my journal. . .)
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they will call his name Emmanuel - 'God With Us'."
- The Gospel According to Matthew, chapter 1, verse 23
(ref. The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 7:14)
God is no longer remote from us; He has come to us - God is with us.
How differently would we understand our lives if we were more consciously aware of this foundational truth - God is with us.
How differently would we relate to our minor trials (or our major ones, for that matter) if we knew - really knew - that God is with us.
How different would our sins look to us if we really understood that God is with us?
What a privilege, what an awesome possibility is laid before us - God has become one of us, that we might become like God. And yet how little do we - do I - take hold of it and venture so bold as to live by means of God's grace?
O God, have mercy on us; help us to take hold of what you've laid before us, to take on more of your divinity, as you've taken on our humanity. Make us holy, as you are holy, and help us to live more truly as your presence in the world. . .