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With Us

So, what is in a name? According to Psychology Today, parents often choose their baby’s names based on family, religious, ethnic, or faddish influences. Often, parents will even choose names that signal certain desired characteristics about their children, including physical stature.[1] This generation will see many Liam, Noah, Olivia, and Sophia’s in the future because of 2022. Being brand new grandparents, we took special interest to see what our first grandchild would be named. In 2022, Lillianne Ruth joined our family, and we were ecstatic.

In Matthew 1:23 (KJV), an angel spoke to Joseph and instructed him what to specifically name their first-born son: “…they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” The child born of Mary would be the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 (NIV), “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

18There was no one in Jesus’ lineage who had this name, but it was significant to the task that was unfolding incarnationally in front of the world. He came to be with us. The Greek phrase Theos Meta hēmōn (God with us), is centred on the interesting word Meta (μετά), which has a relevant sound. Strong’s Concordance defines Meta as in the midst of, amid, denoting association, union, accompaniment.”[2]  So how is Jesus meta (with) us?

When Facebook rebranded WhatsApp and Instagram to include “from Facebook” in both of their names, in his video introducing the new company name Meta, Mark Zuckerberg said he liked Meta because it's a Greek word that “symbolizes there's always more to build".

In defining Metaverse, The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build. The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.[3]

In the Greek, 'meta' means ‘with’, ‘after’, ‘alongside’ or ‘beyond’.  That is what God gave us, when He sent His One and Only Son, to be with us on this earth.  He is the promised Messiah, the One who is in us, above us, undergirding us, surrounding us, propelling us, and sustaining us. His Name stands above all others. Jesus is the One we desperately need today.

19Consider what the Bible has to say on this theme of God being “with us”:

The life of Jesus had regular rhythms and practices and included regular META times with God, the Father.

Jesus, the Son of God, needed to have check-in times of ‘meta’ with the Father. A scan of the gospels will reveal that before every major decision, Jesus finds a place to be “with” His Father. We see examples as He prepared for a major task (Luke 4:1-2, 14-15), found a place to recharge after hard work (Mark 6:30-32); processed grief (Matthew 14:1-13); paused before making an important decision (Luke 6:12-13); navigated times of distress (Luke 22:39-44); or just focused on prayer (Luke 5:16).

This same relationship of abiding was present in Jesus’ teaching in John 15.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:4, 7 NLT). He is with us, and in us.

The early disciples and META
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NIV).

How did those observing the disciples know this? What was it about them that they could say this? Did they glow, or float or have a certain look? I believe the disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit and carried with them the META or presence of Christ. It came from the intimacy of their relationship with Christ, and the presence of the Lord that was in them.

META is the secret ingredient of the Great Commission.
In Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV), Jesus promised Meta to His followers as they share the gospel: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”

The META stands between God and us!   I am with you.

Advent Stories 2022The revelation of the “I am” (God abiding presence) is META us each moment of the day, in everything we do and every conversation we have. He goes with us when we share the good news of Jesus with others. He is more than a name—He is WITH US.

Advent thoughts shared by Brian Egert, Mission Canada Director and Assistant to the General Superintendent.

[1] Do Couto, Sarah, Global News Posted Nov. 29, 2022

[2] Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (n.d). 3326 meta: with In Bible Retrieved November 29, 2022, from

[3] Zuckerberg, Mark, Facebook Founder’s letter October 28, 2022