“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” (Matthew 1: 23)
You probably heard this verse recently. It gets dusted off with the Christmas decorations and shared in songs and pictures and sermons throughout December. And then, too often, it gets tucked away until the next Christmas.
But Immanuel wasn't just the name of baby Jesus. It was the miracle of God made flesh. It was God dwelling with people. It was God come near.
God's presence. It's our theme for 2023. It has everything to do with life in Christ and everything to do with planting churches.
Just as God came near to us, we draw near to people who don't yet know him. Just as Jesus was born in a crowded town in the midst of cultural turmoil, we take him to where the people are in the midst of whatever their messes are.
Travel with us this year as we explore the ways and places God makes his presence known. The challenge is to not only read or talk about God with us, but to practice dwelling where he dwells, seeing and interacting with people as he does, and discovering he has already inhabited all the places we will go.