2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

December 13 – God is With Us (A Christmas Carol Advent)





God is With Us was included on the Casting Crowns Christmas CD titled released in 2008.

Commentary & Analysis

This is a more contemporary song steeped in both the Christmas story and strong theology.  The first four lines of the first verse address some of the positive aspects of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord.  Many a Christian can attest that upon accepting Christ, things just seemed brighter and a renewed sense of hope came upon them.

The second four lines of the verse tell the Christmas story from the viewpoint of an eyewitness caught up in the story.  Imagine you are an ordinary citizen of Bethlehem when all of the sudden a bunch of shepherds come from the fields announcing that angels had appeared to them singing (Luke 2:8-16).  The rumors begin to spread as more and more people hear about the birth of a boy in a manager in Bethlehem born to a virgin in fulfillment of prophecy.  Despite his best attempts to destroy the child, Herod’s plot is foiled (Matthew 2:7-12).  This child was clearly not just any child.  He turned out to be the Son of God!

The chorus sets forth a number of truths about God.  Love is raining down.  The Bible tells us that God is Love (1 John 4:16).  Jesus is our Savior (John 3:16) who dwells inside of us (Galatians 2:20).  Finally, the chorus recites three fundamental truths of God:

  • God is in us. (Galatians 2:20)
  • God is for us. (John 3:16)
  • God is with us.  (Matthew 1:23)

The next verse summarizes the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) that we would go into all the world and tell people the good news of Jesus Christ coming and dying on the cross for our sins.  That message is a message of good news and great joy.

Questions for further Reflection / Devotion

The following questions are meant for your reflection and or devotion.  Feel free to meditate on them, discuss them with your family or others or post your responses here.  I would love to hear from you.

  1. This Christmas resolve to give someone the greatest give ever – tell them about Jesus Christ.
  2. What do you think it would have been like to be a citizen of Bethlehem on the night that Jesus Christ was born?
  3. As a family, discuss what it was like when you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior.
  4. Discuss the refrain “God is in us.  God if for us. God is with us. Emmanuel.”  What does this mean to you?  How do you experience this in your daily life?
  5. Do you feel the presence of Jesus in your life?  If so, when do you feel it most acutely?  If not, when was the last time you felt his presence?


The skies don’t seem to be as dark as usual
The stars seem brighter then they’ve been before
Deep within I feel my soul a stirring
As though my hope has been restored
The shepherds say they’ve heard the voice of angels
Confirming rumors spread across the land
That a child protected well from Herod’s anger
Is our Father’s Son, and the son of man

Love is raining down on the world tonight
There’s a presence here I can tell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel
He’s the Savior we have been praying for
In our humble hearts He will dwell
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel

I feel compelled to tell all who will listen
That peace on earth is not so out of reach
If we can find grace, mercy and forgiveness
He has come to save, He is all of these

You’re the Savior we have been praying for
In our humble hearts You will dwell
You are in us, You are for us, You are with us, Emmanuel

Return to a Christmas Carol Advent index page.