The Lord is Come
Joy to the World; The Lord is come;
Let Earth receive her King:
Let every Heart prepare him Room,
And Heaven and Nature sing.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). – Matthew 1:23
This first verse of the beloved hymn “Joy to the World” poetically writes of the entire purpose for the Christmas season. The Lord is come! Make room for Him in our hearts. Let us shout out words and songs of joyful praise because God has come! Yet, it is easy to look over the Christmas story and take it for granted. We read it and hear it many times over the span of many Christmas seasons in our lives. Sadly, for many of us, it has become old news. It is old news that is not worthy of joyful proclamation.
Taking a look at Matthew 1:23 can help to give us a proper understanding of the wonder and awe that Christmas should evoke in us. Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, who told her that she would conceive a child, and that child would be called Jesus. Joseph, during his confusion and doubt regarding Mary’s pregnancy prior to their marriage, heard God tell him in a dream that all that was happening was a part of God’s plan, and Joseph should still take Mary to be his wife.
This brings us to verse 23. All of this had been foretold. The very specific events and details regarding the coming of Christ had been known since long before it would happen. A savior and a king was coming who had been announced by God Himself through the prophets. Each of these prophecies fulfilled a purpose. They pointed to who Jesus is and why He had come. This prophecy in particular helps us understand who Jesus is. He will be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
God has come to be with us! He is no longer above us, or just ruling over us. He is with us. He is among us. In taking on our human form, He has brought together in fullness the union of God and Man. And so in this way, we see the purpose of Christ’s coming: not for the purpose of death, but to use his death to bring God and Man to a full and complete unity, a unity which existed and dwelt in His own person.
God with Us!