It’s not uncommon, even for believers, to look at all the evil and heartache in the world and think it even if they don’t speak it: Where is God? Where is God in the wholesale slaughter of Christians at the hands of ISIS terrorists? Where is God when the six-year old gets cancer, when a tornado rips through a quiet little town, or where poor people are starving and suffering from preventable diseases? The question is legit. So is the answer: God is with us. Of all of Jesus’ Christmas names, I think my favorite is Immanuel—which means “God with us.” Jesus left the peace, comfort, and glory of heaven to make a beachhead in Bethlehem in humble conditions, the child of peasants. He grew up in obscurity and fulfilled His mission though a brutal death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. And on the third day after, He rose from the dead in power and glory. Where is God? He is with us. The manger shows us that no situation is too degrading, no experience too humbling what that God, in Christ, is with us right in the midst of it. The cross shows us that no struggle is too great, no injustice too unfair, no sin too heinous, no grief too deep, no suffering too intense, not even death itself is so awful what that God faces it with us in Christ. And the resurrection assures us that because Jesus rose from the dead and lives today, He is able to send us His Spirit so that He truly can be with us and in us everywhere, all the time, and in every situation. Here’s the tenth of The Twelve Thoughts of Christmas: Jesus is God – with – us: now and forever.