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Immanuel: One of us

Immanuel: One of us
Ole Kristian Hunt
23 December, 2022 4 min read

I’ll admit the connection between the words ‘Immanuel’ and ‘one of us’ had probably never occurred to me before. It was mentioned by a friend as a potential topic for a Christmas youth event. I’d joked that ‘Hypostatic Union’ probably wasn’t going to get teenagers very excited, even if it does sound a bit like an energy company’s rugby team.

Around Christmas, with all the connections to the nativity, we hear the name Immanuel (or ‘Emmanuel’) more often than any other time of year.

We’re told that it means, ‘God with us’. We’re reminded that at the incarnation – a word that literally means ‘en-flesh-ment’ – God came to live – literally – among us. Heaven came down to earth!

Let’s put aside the fact that Jesus almost certainly wasn’t born on Christmas Day. Let’s put aside the fact that the incarnation didn’t happen at his birth, but when he was conceived some nine months earlier. Let’s take an alternative perspective to make sense of Immanuel: One of us.

‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost’ (Luke 19:10).
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