Monday, 24 December 2012

December 24th - Jesus is Emmanuel

Jesus is Emmanuel
Isaiah 7:14; 33:22

Emmanuel - God with us."What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home." (Joan Osborne)

Christmas. We celebrate the birth of a baby, not the arrival of a mighty power. (Though, if you've ever spent any time with a baby, then you'll know you don't have to be big and strong to be powerful!) The coming of another human being, not a heavenly army. An everyday event, not a great spectacle. And yet, each of those were happening simultaneously. While a young woman gave birth to a helpless babe, angels sang and a star moved. Peasants and wise men came looking for him. And God was on earth.

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel."(Isaiah 7:14 TNIV)

Emmanuel - God with us.

We cannot say God doesn't know what it's like for us, doesn't know what we're going through, doesn't understand being human.
He was born like us; He nursed at His mother's breast; He grew as we grow, went through the awkwardness of puberty; He went to the toilet; probably He got ill; He obeyed His parents, but had the potential not to; He was tempted in every way we are; He had a job; He ate and drank and partied; He loved and laughed; He prayed and cried; He knew the love of friends and family; He grieved over the death of loved ones; He suffered pain, betrayal, agony and death.
Because of Christmas, "we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16 TNIV)

"What if God was one of us?"
He was.
And He is.
And He is within every person we meet. Jesus said, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:40 TNIV)

At Christmas we celebrate God being with us. We celebrate that we can have a relationship with God.  And we can use it as a time to treat everyone as though they are God with us.

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