A Blog by Bill Robinson

Emmanuel, God with Us 

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When Nancy and I moved here from California in 2005, the parish we left behind was named Emmanuel (God with us). Has a nice ring to it this time of year, doesn’t it? Among the Arabic speaking people this word has been used since unremembered time as a prayer of longing for the God of All Creation to come and dwell with man (The “el”, or sometimes “al”, at the end of Emmanuel is one of the short forms of Allah). For the Jews, the word meant exactly the same thing, only their longing for the presence of God was manifested in the prophecies of the Messiah, who would not only “dwell” with them but “deliver” them as well. Christians use the word too, almost as a synonym for Jesus, who is regarded as the fulfillment of the Messianic Prophecies and the sign of “God with us”. In many ways Emmanuel, and the longing for relationship with God that the word implies, is at the very core of three faiths. Isn’t it sadly ironic that these same three faiths, all longing for God and sharing the same core belief, have been ripping out each other’s hearts for centuries? Our prayer this Christmas is that the unity of all of our longings for Emmanuel will somehow transcend our self-centered demand for uniformity of culture and practice. Amen
In Christ, Bill Robinson

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Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2018 00:07

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