High River United Church of High River, Alberta


Who is Jesus? Jesus is Emmanuel - Advent 4

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Photo: David Robertson


Rev. David: I have always found deep meaning and comfort in the mystery of Emmanuel—God with Us. The simple and graceful lines of the artist in this nativity by Amos Pewter capture expressions of love, wonder and adoration. Joseph’s out-stretched hand gesturing to the child has a “I-see-it-but-I-don’t-quite-believe-it, but… look! at this beautiful child.” It is hard to believe—that God comes to us, to be close to us, to be embodied in human form in such a gracious and vulnerable way.   Mary’s hands cover her heart and convey gratitude and blessing. Indeed, how deep is the mystery! God is with us.


Rev. Susan: “They shall name him Emmanuel – God-with-us.” Joseph received these words in a dream, reassuring him and urging him to not abandon Mary. I wonder if Joseph shared this dream with her. I wonder if they discussed what it meant to have a son who would be known as “God-with-us.” Somehow, it seems to me that they understood the wonder of God’s presence in this child. As they were fleeing to Egypt, searching for a place to call home, and listening to horror stories of Herod’s actions back in Bethlehem, they must have held both the baby and that special name close to their hearts. There are days when I know deep down that God is with me. There are other bleak, empty days when I’m not so sure. But I repeat the name to myself, “Emmanuel. God is with us!” and, in the name, there is power.

Rev. Susan Lukey & Rev. David Robertson, High River United Church, High River, Alta.

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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

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