immanuel, God is with us

do you ever have those moments where really old worship songs pop into your head?  like out of nowhere?  over 13 years ago at the little sweet church we used to go to in the mountains we sang this song almost every week:

Jesus, name above all names

beautiful savior, glorious Lo-o-o-rd

Immanuel, God is with us

blessed redeemer, living word

there were times, honestly, when it grated on jose and i’s nerves because they played it so s-l-o-w, but this week it came back to me out of the blue.   i can’t get this chorus out of my head;  i’ve been randomly singing it in the car & on my post-surgery-walks-when-i’m-by-myself.  it’s the only part of the song i can remember, but it includes the part that matters to me this christmas.  immanuel, God is with us.

God is with us.

God, with us.

here are some different words for “with”:

accompanying, alongside, amidst, among, beside, by, for, including, near, plus, upon, as companion, side by side, in the thick of

God accompanying us.

God alongside us.

God amidst us.

God among us.

God beside us.

God by us.

God for us.

God including us.

God near us.

God plus us.

God upon us.

God as companion to us.

God side by side us.

God in the thick of us.

God, born in a smelly stable to an unwed mother & her faithful fiance.  pagans strangly drawn to him like a moth to a flame.  shepherds, the lowest of the low, getting the news first.   God, in the flesh.   showing us the ways of love & how utterly contrary they are to the ways of the world. to the ways of “religion.”

God, here. now. working through the least likely–us. ordinary, average people.

God, with us, in us.

it’s wild.

it’s crazy.

it’s really pretty.

merry christmas.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • Kathy, thank you for the reminder and for you prayers and love (I can tangibly feel them sometimes 🙂 ).
    This season, being unemployed in a state with plus 10% unemployment… and separated (by choice) from abusive family….but still away from family… with a dear friend in fight to get her ex and his sexually abusive wife away from her boys, the weight gets heavy, the days long. And in the midst – God, Jesus with us, along side, helping – fighting on our behalf – never leaving us alone or without help. Tears. Jesus here with us is the only reason I have survived. Thank you, Jesus. Merry Christmas.

  • sarah – that was my favorite, too! thanks for reading & lots of hope & peace for the new year ahead for you, too. may you feel God in the thick of it all.

    skylark – thanks for reading…you get it.

    katherine – your faith, your heart, your hope in the darkness is so inspiring, katherine and helps me believe. it really does. “the hope of the afflicted will never perish” psalm 9 comes to mind. love to you & peace in the midst for 2011.

    twoboysmom- thanks for reading, it was so great to see you and catch up.


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