Immanuel

  • Dec. 19, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Submitted by Pastor Rob Williamson, Bethel Assembly Church, Queen Charlotte–For many people around the world, Christmas is a time of Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love. A time for family, a time for relaxing, and a time to remember the miracle of the young Christ child, born of a Virgin, in the town of Bethlehem.For me, as I reflect upon this image of the Christ child, in a manger, surrounded by family, magi, shepherds, and animals, a small content and expressive grin airs itself for many to see. This grin comes from a peace deep within the recesses of my soul and bubbles out like an endless spring full of life and possibilities. Matthew 1:23 (NIV) says, “The virgin will be with Child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”Wow! Think about it, “God with us.” Why would that be? Why would a holy, eternal, and all powerful God step down from his holy throne in heaven, remove his royal robes, and exchange them for the garments of human flesh? Two words, Love and Relationship. Christ’s birth was not an accident, instead it was a plan. It was not careless, instead it was an act of compassion. Before this world was created, before the endless universe existed, before the dawn of time, God had already conceived your existence within Himself and He loved you. His desire was to have a relationship with you. So He created the heavens and the earth, the animals and the trees, the lakes and the seas. He created the whole world around us so that we could live in harmony with Him and live out a peaceful and loving life with Him; until man chose sin.Sadly since sin entered into this world through our choice, it has tainted the hearts and minds of humanity throughout the centuries. Most of all, from its entrance, sin succeeded in creating an impassible chasm separating mankind from God. At that moment God could have just pulled the plug, He could have just turned His back on us. Instead, His love for us was greater than the penalty due for our actions. Knowing long before we even existed in this state due to our choices, God already had a plan to deal with this chasm and also a plan to pay the penalty owed for our selfishness.This plan became tangible when a virgin gave birth to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. It was at that moment as that child took his first breath and cried out for the first time, that He was declaring to the whole world and to all of human history, that I am here. I am Immanuel, God with us. Wow, God came to earth for you and I. This is the true meaning of Christmas. God was born so that he could fix that to which no man could fix, resolve that to which no man could resolve, pay for a penalty which no man could ever afford. He came to earth to build a bridge across an endless chasm so that we may once again have an unhindered relationship with God. Through the life, the death, and the resurrection of His Son Jesus. Immanuel, God with us.May the love, peace, and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, guard, define, and unite you and your family this Christmas season. Merry Christmas and the Lord’s blessing to you all.

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