Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son,
and shall name him Immanuel.
God with us
Immanuel – God with us. These prophetic words from the Old Testament are quoted in Matthew’s gospel where they are understood to refer to the birth of Jesus. God comes to us to be with us in all the vulnerability of a baby who is totally dependent on others for his continuing life. You can’t be more vulnerable than a baby. We are so familiar with the story of God coming to us in Jesus as a baby that we miss just how amazing this is and how it turns upside down so many of our ideas about God. A baby evokes love not fear – who is afraid of a baby? But for many of us God is to be feared rather than loved. And a God who begins and finishes his life in extreme vulnerability tells us that this same God is with us in all our vulnerabilities whatever shape they take. So often it is in such places that we become aware of God at greater depths of our being.