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...

Emmanuel, God With Us (December 6)

Dec6To view the entire 2011 Christmas Carol Advent check out our Christmas Carol Advent index page.



Story Behind the Song

This song was released on Amy Grants second holiday album entitled Home for Christmas which was released in 1992. It was co-written by Amy Grant, Chris Eaton and Robert Marshall.

Commentary & Analysis

This song begins with some of the modern traditions of Christmas including fires and evergreens and anxious kids and older adults recounting Christmases of their youth. It has toys and caroling and many of the things that we all do to create our own Christmas memories. At its heart though, this song calls us to remember what it’s really all about.


When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to first let her know that she would give birth to the Son of God, the Bible tells us that:

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:22-23 ESV)

Long before Jesus was ever born to woman, God had a plan and he had revealed it to Isaiah. He would send His Son known as Emmanuel which means “God with us.” God would come and dwell amongst His creation so that He could save it.

The next verse in the song is equally important:

And still he calls through the night
Beyond the days of old
A voice of peace to the weary ones
Who struggle with the human soul

Jesus did not come and die. We do not celebrate a savior who lived 2,000 years ago. At Christmas, we celebrate a Savior who is still alive. We celebrate a Savior who reigns in heaven and reigns in people’s hearts. We celebrate a Savior who transforms lives and makes righteous men out of wretched sinners. We celebrate a Savior who “still calls through the night.” Jesus is alive!

Questions for Further Reflection / Devotion

  1. What does it mean to you that God came and dwelt amongst His people?
  2. If you could talk face-to-face with Jesus today what questions would you ask Him? Why?
  3. Do you pray about those things? Spend some time in prayer today talking to God.
  4. Jesus is alive and active today. As a family, share about a recent time where you felt God at work in your life.
  5. Share with your kids “tales of how it used to be.” What was Christmas like for you as a child? What tales did your parents and grandparents tell you about Christmas?


We dim the light
We stoke the fire
We breathe the ever-green
Young ones wait
While the old ones make up
Tales of how it used to be

China dolls, candy corn
Painted wooden toys
Treasures found to the wondrous sound
Of caroling the Savior
Born to us on Christmas morn

Emmanuel, God with us
Emmanuel, God with us
The son of Israel

And still he calls through the night
Beyond the days of old
A voice of peace to the weary ones
Who struggle with the human soul

All of us travelers
Through a given time
Who can know what tomorrow holds
But over the horizon
Surely you and I will find


And the years they come
And the years they go
Through we may forget somehow
That the child once born in Bethlehem
Is still among us now