December 25, 2011

Jesus, Immanuel

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


Today is Christmas. Jesus came to earth as Immanuel—“God with us.” Jesus is God among humankind; he is God dressed in human skin; he is God “pitching his tent” among us, as John 1:14 literally states!

Sin separated us from God, but God took the initiative to come to us. In the tabernacle set up in the wilderness, God dwelled among his people. In the temple of Jerusalem, the presence of God filled the Most Holy Place. But in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4), God “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The eternal entered into time. The divine became human.

The infinite God became a finite infant and was placed in a manger. He who cannot be contained by the confines of the heavens became a child who would need to grow in wisdom and stature and grace.

Those little words “with us” define the incredible comfort we receive this Christmas Day. This Christmas may find you far from home, or perhaps enduring the first Christmas after losing a loved one. It may seem that the only way to describe your life right now is “lonely”!

Don’t believe it! Christmas is here to assure you that, in Christ, God is beside you now and always! He is the “with us” God!

Lord, thank you for being Immanuel—“God with us”! May we celebrate your birth with true joy, knowing that you came to save and sustain us. Come into our hearts today, Lord Jesus! Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes grew up in a Christian home in Brazil. Following his 1981 graduation from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Campinas, Brazil, he served two congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In 2000, he earned a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Rev. Lopes has been the voice of the television program Verdade e Vida (“Truth and Life”) since 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Portuguese ministry leader for Back to God Ministries International. Rev. Lopes and his wife, Tinha, have two college-age children.

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