The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).Matthew 1:18-23
God is with us.
She has always been a wanderer. When she was just fourteen months old or so, and her siblings were supposed to be keeping an eye on her in the Fellowship Hall while I made a salad in the kitchen in at church, when she wandered off. She walked down a hallway; turned left; walked down a long, dark hallway; up some stairs; turned the corner and went up another flight of stairs, walked a little way and turned right, into the sanctuary. Our Pastor found her, standing serenely in the dark sanctuary, completely at peace. He returned her downstairs to us just after I asked the children where she was and they started looking for her.
She made friends wherever she went. She would get distracted by a new, usually quite a bit older than her, friend in the grocery store, and walk along with them instead of staying with me. I would often have to retrieve her, reminding her that she needed to stay near me. Her response was always the same: "You are always with me."
I think by that she meant that she was confident that I would always help, protect, and be there for her, even if she wandered a little bit away from me. When she was a bit older, and still a wanderer, I asked her where she got her self-confidence from. Her three word answer seemed wiser than her four years, "You and God." When asked to explain, her answer was again, simple, "You trust me. I trust God." She knew that I trusted that she could do things for and by herself. She trusted that God is always with her.
She's seven now. If she's comfortable in the space, whether it's at church, homeschool co-op, or the thrift store ... and mostly even when she's not ... she'll still wander, she'll still make friends, and she remains confident that both God and I have her back.
God with us. How would our behavior change if we remembered these three words in all that we say and do...even, and especially, when we wander a bit too far from God?