Thinkin’ on the names given to Jesus by Isaiah, Luke, the angels, God.  I’ve always loved the songs that proclaim those names.  However,  back in the 80’s,  the kids at our church did a kids Christmas musical called “The Late Great Potentate”.  I loved everything about that musical and my kids were too little to be part of it.  Still,  it remains one of my favorites.  The premise was that the Potentate was losing his position to a baby King.  The kids sang about what to name the Baby and Casper,  the Potentate had some ideas.  He was shocked to hear that the name would be Jesus.    A sweet preteen,  now mother of four living in Germany sang a little chorus in the play that went like this:

”  When your heart is full of joy,  you’ll call Him ‘Wonderful’,   When you’ve almost lost your way, He’ll be your Counselor;  In the midst of your confusion, whisper ‘Prince of Peace’  and when you’re all alone,  He’ll be Emmanuel.”  

Since that day,  Emmanuel has been my favorite name for Jesus.  My favorite songs embody that name,  “God with us,  revealed in us, “,  “Emmanuel has come”  “God came down to dwell among us”   and on and on.

It happened about two weeks before Christmas.  I was blessed to attend a lovely Christmas brunch with my womens group at church.  The hostess chose the theme “Nativity”  and her beautful home reflected the theme.  For an icebreaker,  we had a word sticker slapped on our back and had to ask questions to discover it.  Sort of an adult headbandz.

Of course,  I don’t need an icebreaker to visit with other women so I didn’t really play until we sat down to eat.  A precious sister in Christ insisted that I play to discover my word. I’m pretty good at this game,  I’m a linguist and a teacher.  I can find that word in five questions.

“Is it a person, place or thing?”   Person 
  “Male or Female?”   Male.
 “adult or baby?”  Baby. 
“Duh,  Jesus”.
Kind of,  but no,  not JESUS.

I took off ,  quoting Isaiah,  Handel’s Messiah, Christmas Carols,  all to a chorus of “NO”.
Finally,  I sang the above chorus in my head, saying aloud,  “Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace,
Emmanuel.”

“That’s it,”  my table shouted.

I took a long drink of my coffee.  How could I have not said my favorite name for Jesus first? I went home thinkin’ about that.

In the hustle and bustle of the season,  in the rush of December , with Christmas music blaring from every and any speaker including my phone,  God was with me.  And that was possible because of a baby born in Bethlehem.

For God is with us, And we celebrate the glory of His presence,  Christ has come to fill our hearts with love,  He came to SAVE us,  King of Kings and Lord of Lords,  His name is Jesus,  God with us.  Emmanuel has come.   –Don Moen
 
Imagine,  GOD with us,  thinkin’ about that today.