December 24, 2013

God With Us

Matthew 1:18-25

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
—Matthew 1:23


Many of us know the old playground song “[Boy] and [girl], sitting in a tree … K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage … then comes the baby in a baby carriage.” Even at a young age, we know where babies come from.

But 2,000 years ago a child came into this world in a unique way. By the miraculous work of God, the virgin Mary conceived and gave birth to a son. This child was given the name Jesus, but he was also called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” The virgin birth revealed Jesus’ unique nature. He was fully God and fully human, so he indeed was “God with us” in our life in this world.

Jesus is God, graciously kneeling to meet us on our level in flesh and blood. He is God, humbling himself to come into our world of sin, pain, and brokenness. Immanuel is God, with us, acting on our behalf, doing what we could not and would not do for ourselves. Having “God with us” is life changing. Immanuel is changing the world. Guilt, alienation, shame, and futility have given way to forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, and purpose. Immanuel has opened the way from decay and death to God’s redemption and restoration. Nothing is the same, because God came in Jesus. Celebrate Immanuel: “God with us”!

Lord, we marvel at your coming as Immanuel. Draw us into a deepening relationship with you, that through faith we may live the reality of “God with us.” Amen.

About the author — Calvin Aardsma

Calvin Aardsma has been a pastor for more than thirty years. He has served churches in Indiana, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Currently, he is a pastor of Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. He also serves on the board of the Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund. Cal and his wife, Sandy, have four children and five grandchildren.

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