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I’ve been thinking about what to write in this week’s blog article for a couple weeks now. To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to write a Christmas message. Not because I’m a Scrooge (far from it), but rather because it seems that everyone else writes a Christmas message. I didn’t think you needed one more. This morning I felt compelled, probably prompted by the Holy Spirit, to do so anyway. Please take a moment to read what Christmas means to me.
Christmas is many things to many people. It is many things to me. There is one idea, though, that is at the center of Christmas. This idea is capture in the word “Immanuel.” We hear “Immanuel” in Christmas carols and we see it on greeting cards and on church marquee signs. The word has almost become cliché. Do you know what “Immanuel” means? It means “God with us.”
God with us. God with us. It is rather incredible to think about. God, the creator of universe, who formed the mountains, hand-painted butterfly wings, can identify the uniqueness of each and every snowflake, and the one who breathed life into you, took on human form to be with us. He left a place of eternal peace and perfect love, to become man, Jesus. He lived among us for 33 years, ultimately to be tortured and killed. He did this to touch us in a way that we’ve never felt before and the world has been forever changed.
About 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”1 (There are over 400 prophecies fulfilled by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!) The Old Testament prophets communicated a hope for the future of Israel, which became hope for all people. Today, two millennia later, we have hope for the present and the future because we are witnesses to the life of Jesus. We are witnesses of the offer of eternal life with the Creator himself.
We are witnesses to God with us—Immanuel!
1: Isaiah 7:14, NASB