All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and His name shall be called Emmanuel, which means God with us. When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife but knew her not until she had borne a Son; and he called His name Jesus. —Matthew 1:22–25
Today, Fr. Stavros points out the power in a Name. We see from the passage above that that the son that is in Mary's womb will be called Emmanuel, which is translated as "God with us!" There are a number of things that we can learn from the idea of naming someone or something. But today, lets concentrate on the fact that naming something means that we know that thing, that person. This is part of the reason why new discoveries, in science and nature, are usually named by the person who discovers them. Because they have a "knowledge" of them.
Today, we are given the name of salvation: Emmanuel.
This tells us that we now know salvation. We, and when I say we I mean the world, has discovered it, has seen it and now knows it.
Fr. Stavros breaks down this name for us:
With: wherever we go
Us: all people
The powerful point of this name is that we understand the God wants to be with us, to walk with us. He wants to be with ALL of us, to walk with ALL of us.
In a short time we will celebrate this naming at the Feasts of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord. It is no mistake that the evening services for both of these feasts start with the hymn "God is with us"
God is with us! All you nations understand, and submit yourselves
for God is with us!"
This hymn drives home the fact that the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, became flesh to be with us! He become flesh so that we would know him, that we would know salvation.
At each daily reflection, Fr. Stavros concludes with a passage from one of the services of the Nativity or Theophany. I would like to reiterate the passage he shares here in conclusion:
"Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
Go with God!