Isaiah spoke to Ahaz over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, in a time of darkness for God’s people. He probably didn’t realise that his message from God would reach far beyond his own day, and be wonderfully fulfilled through Mary and Jesus.
When St Matthew was trying to understand the full meaning of Jesus’ birth, he remembered this prophecy, and saw that the story of Christmas was just one (very important) part of the long, long story of God’s faithful love for his people. In Jesus, the name ‘Emmanuel’ would not just be deeply symbolic; it would be a statement of fact.
Where is God already present ‘with’ you?