The Word w/ James Taylor: They shall call his name Emmanuel

Published 12:20 am Saturday, January 14, 2023

“And shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is: “God with us.” Matt. 1: 24

At this early stage of this new year, I believe that there are many that are bursting at the seams to reveal their New Year resolutions. However, I have made it easy for all, in that I have suggested one that I believe is quite beneficial for every believer’s journey, as we press forward in this new year. And that is, “Up Close and Personal with God.” This is a very familiar phrase that suggests one getting into another person’s personal space and in no uncertain terms telling them what they want them to know, including advice to help them to succeed. Keep in mind however, that it could be that you are on the giving end, or you could be on the receiving end of the conversation or actions as well. 

During this period on the downside of Christmas, this current timeframe on the Christian calendar is called “Epiphany,” which means that Christ is made “manifest.” In Matthew’s account of Christ’s birth, he informs us that Christ’s name would be called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, “God with us.”  Therefore, as we encounter life in these early stages of this new year, no matter the situation we might find ourselves in, it has already been established by the holy writ that God is with us! 

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Yes, he is “up close and personal.” However, the excitement of the blessing for us all is that we each have the opportunity to establish ourselves to be up close and personal with him as well. The text implies that God is with us all the time, no matter the situation or our plight. Even though God loves us through his Son, Jesus Christ, God will not demand that we listen to his word, study his word, or make room for him in all that we do on our daily journey. However, just knowing that the name “Emmanuel” embodies such closeness without even calling or summoning him in the midst of our many needs, oh, what a blessing to know that the name has given us a special privilege to be up close and personal as well with him and gleam more power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily walk. 

Thus, with just a bit of effort on each of our parts, we can reciprocate daily through prayer, reading of scriptures and letting our light shine in this dark world in which we live. Why not rejoice over the fact that in spite of your weaknesses, trials or tribulations, you can declare that you are “Up close and personal.” with God. Just proclaim his name, “Emmanuel.”


Rev. Dr. James Taylor III is the pastor of the Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is: