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God With Us: Why It Matters Beyond Christmas
January 18, 2023

God With Us: Why It Matters Beyond Christmas

By Sara Meyers, Communications Specialist, The Rees-Jones Foundation

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

 

We are past the hustle of the Christmas season and the new year is setting in, but I’m convicted in 2023 that I need to sit and yield longer to the implications of Christmas. I know it seems odd to mention the holidays in January, but I have been reminded  how much I need the truths of Christmas to invigorate my life all year long. In Isaiah 7, we are promised that the Christ child who would come would be called “Immanuel,” translated “God with us.” In context, this is significant because at the time of Jesus’ birth, God had been silent for over 400 years as nations had chosen not to follow Him. What a promise from Isaiah that when God would reappear to the world, He would now be amongst them; literally “with” them!

God being “with” us changes everything. When He is “with us,” we see supernatural work taking place–in India where bonded slaves are being set free, in Dallas where children with disabilities are finding joy and education through equine therapy, in CASAs across Dallas-Ft. Worth where children have hands to hold onto as they navigate the child welfare system. In my first two months on staff with The Rees-Jones Foundation, I have seen first-hand how God “being in it”  transforms every facet of business. In the way staff approach every site visit, every written piece, every decision. If God is with us, that means we have access to His divine wisdom, His empathy, His love and His grace in all circumstances. This is Good News!

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[e]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

In Isaiah 9 we find the popular Christmas passage describing Jesus’ coming. In Isaiah’s words here, I’m especially reminded why God being with us transforms everything. In verse 6 we are told some key descriptors or names of Jesus: “He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This year, the name listed that has most struck me in the midst of this season has been “Wonderful Counselor.” After reading this verse hundreds of times in my life, it is clear that this name stands out this year because of the inspiring counselors, therapists and social workers that The Rees-Jones Foundation has the privilege of supporting, and who I now have the pleasure of interacting with regularly. When I think about those in direct work with children and families, I cannot help but think of the traits they exude in walking with the clients they serve. They embody wisdom, grace, kindness, steadiness, peace, and so many other traits that are worthy of honor. When I think of them, I can see the Wonderful Counselor clearly at work in our communities and the world.

From personal experience, I can echo Psalm 16:7 when David says “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel.” Whether it has been in hospital rooms at the birth of my children, in grief-stricken moments at the loss of loved ones, or in conversations with life-long friends who were walking through difficult circumstances, Jesus as the “Wonderful Counselor” is at work in every moment. In the promise that He’s not just a counselor but also “Wonderful,” I am reminded that we can trust His counsel because He Himself is good, wise, able and always trustworthy.

As we move beyond the Christmas season into a new year, we are challenged to remember throughout 2023 that God is with us and this should impact everything, including how we love our families well, how we fulfill our roles with excellence and how we serve our communities faithfully.



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