The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

December 21
As a child, December 25th could never arrive fast enough.  As a grandmother, preparing for everyone to descend upon our home and be fed, bedded down and gifted for several days the time is slipping away. Somehow I am managing to squeeze a little Jesus time in each day right  now, but that will be more difficult as my "little squeezes" arrive on Saturday.

The other night I was studying the name Immanuel,  which means God with us.   We certainly need to be reminded that He is with us, when we face times like last Friday's shooting where He seemed to be so far away.

Ann Spangler writes: "When our sins made it impossible for us to come to him, God took the outrageous step of coming to us, of making himself susceptible to sorrow, familiar with temptation, and vulnerable to sin's disruptive power, in order to cancel its claim.  In Jesus we see how extreme God's love is.  Remember this the next time you feel discouraged, abandoned, or too timid to undertake some new endeavor.  For Jesus is still Immanuel, he is still "God with us."

We have a friend, who suffered through the heartache of his wife having an affair and leaving him.  Quite often, he would walk over to our house and just hang out in the evenings.  Then there would be periods of time where we would not see him and I knew more than likely he was dating someone whom he thought we might not approve of.  We are that way with the Lord...we don't want him near us when we are in a sinful state. He is there though.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

It's those sinful times we need him most.  Like a grocery clerk calling out "Clean up on aisle nine!"
We need to cry out to Immanuel, "Clean up in my heart!"

Jesus "R" you for "R"eal?  You "R"escue, "R"edeem and "R"estore!
Thank You for always being with us.

Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.   Matthew 28:20
(Hmm, guess the Mayan calendar missed it and the end was not today.)

An after thought: I was searching to see if Immanuel or Emmanuel was the preferred Biblical spelling. Wikipedia stated either is acceptable.  Then I began reading some articles on the name Immanuel.
This one from a Lutheran pastor in Lexington, KY was excellent.