Christmas was all about Immanuel, God-with-us, as Jesus came among us as one of us. But the thing we need to understand, is that the wonder of God-with-us did not end when he ascended into heaven after his resurrection. He explained to his disciples in John ch15, how his presence would work in this era between his resurrection and the new creation. He described how we are one with him, which means far more than us simply being his admirers, or even those who seek to follow his teachings. What Jesus talks about is a real organic connection between us and Jesus Christ - often called union with Christ. His life is IN us! We are one with him.
So we have spent a lot of time in John 15 looking at the image of the vine and the branches. Further to that we have also been thinking about the images in Paul's and Peter's letters, of the body, the marriage, and the temple.
We are the branches taking life from the true vine (Jesus) and producing fruit as we remain in him and are pruned by him.
We are the body of Christ, with different gifts, different roles, but all working together under the leadership of the Head (Jesus).
We as the church, are the bride of Christ, as he leads and guides us. The closest and most intimate of all human relationships (ideally) where 'me' becomes 'us', as two become one.
We are living stones in the temple of God - the dwelling place of God - with Christ as the chief cornerstone on which everything depends.
Each of these images is worth spending some time thinking about and meditating on.
Let's celebrate who we are IN Christ.