Emmanuel. God-With-Us. The stunning Creator God names Himself in relation to His people. The God who shares His identity With-Us. The God who hyphenates His name with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Who signs His Word as Jacob-wrestling God. His very being described in relation to His people. This is phenomenal.
God-With-Us. He's made Himself at home in us, among us and through us through the born-in-the-likeness-of-man humility of Jesus. Who exists in us, among us, and through us in the form of Holy Spirit.
If I let this mind be in me, what would my name become? Who would I welcome into my very identity as a place of welcome? What would my With-God name be?
Andrew, Alex, Kendra, Natalie-mothering-Tamara
That would be just for starters.
I've walked the broken path of x-ing out some of the names I'd have shared in my hyphenated hospitality. It's a painful, ugly business. Still, God is with us. Still, I want to live With-God. What if the hyphen is supposed to include the x-ed out ones? I must welcome them back, to let this mind of the humble Jesus, so-closely-identified-with-us He poured Himself into the skin of Us.
Let the With-God life turn all my x's into hyphens.