If you read my last post, you know that I preached about “Emmanuel” Sunday. All you have to do is read Matthew 1:23 to know it means “God With Us.” I want to piggyback on that theme with a little more information that I shared Sunday as I explored Emmanuel more in-depth.
One of the knocks against Christianity is that God is some being “way up there.” There are different philosophies regarding God’s activity in today’s world. (The following are edited for space) For example:
The agnostic will say, “I will believe there is a God if you can prove it.”
The atheist says, “God? Not on your life.”
The Deist will say, “God created the world and then took His hand away from it all.”
Meanwhile, Christianity says, “Not only did God create the world, He still takes an active part in it.”
I like that last one a whole lot more.
The name Emmanuel says far more than “God With Us” when you dig deeper. It also says God committed Himself to be near us for all eternity. This is more than the Christmas story; it is the Christmas miracle.
“God with us” tells us Jesus is God. Even more, Jesus is God with us. He was more than a godly man or a talented man or a holy man. He was God in the flesh. When I was studying for the message, I came across a unique story. In Manila, there are families who live in the garbage dump. Their shacks are made of things people throw away. The food they eat is that which is thrown away. But missionaries have also chosen to live in the garbage dump as well in order to reach them with the Good News of Jesus. That is what Jesus did when He became “God With Us.”
“God With Us” means three things:
It means we are far more precious to God than we could ever imagine. I don’t know about you, but I could spend the rest of my life listing why I should be anything but precious to God. When everything conspires against me to say I’m not worthy, they matter ZERO to God.
It means there is for more to celebrate than we thought. The entrance of God into this world is cause for a great celebration. While sin separates us, God seeks reconciliation.
It means we will never be alone. As I wrote here, Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year for many people. But Emmanuel says, “You are not alone. I am here.” I find it really interesting that His introduction into the world as Emmanuel is verified in some of Jesus’ final words: “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Well, there you have it. A fitting way to start your week. You are not alone. How’s that fit your week?