Immanuel

Christmas is fast approaching; it’s only 17 days away. Hopefully, you’ve gotten most of your shopping and decorating finished. We are in that final stretch until we hit the joyous holiday. 

This past weekend, Jess and I went and watched Christmas with the Chosen. If you are unfamiliar, The Chosen is a show the depicts what life would have been like for Jesus and his disciples during their time together. It is really well done and extremely engaging. I tend to not have the highest view of Christian TV and movies because the production value is usually lacking. That’s not the case with The Chosen. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend that you do. There are two seasons, which you can stream or buy the DVDs. My advice: don’t give up on it during the first episode. It starts off slowly but gets better and better with each episode.

The emphasis of the movie was to show what it would have been like for Mary and Joseph on that original Christmas morning, over 2000 years ago. We can easily forget that these were real people as we read about them in the Bible. Mary was a teenager when she gave birth to Jesus. While it is scary and anxiety-filled for any new mother, imagine that you’re carrying the Son of God, the savior of the world. Yet, there they were in a lowly barn. The King of Kings was born in the humblest of circumstances. That was just the beginning of Jesus choosing a life of complete humility. 

Although his birth didn’t happen in the manner of someone of his prestige, God in human form came into the world that day. Nothing would ever be the same again, and the course of human history was forever altered. You see, Jesus wasn’t the only thing that was born that day. Along with the Christ child came hope, love, peace, and joy. 

We often limit what Jesus did for us to simply being able to go to heaven because of what he did for us on the cross. While vastly important, that isn’t the whole story. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that he came so that we can have a full life. He regularly speaks about the Kingdom of God that is already established on earth. Jesus promises to give us his peace in John 14:27. John 15:11 tells us that we can have Jesus’ joy in us. We get too focused on the promises of what the next life will bring and ignore the promises for this one. 

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the one who would go on to lay down his life for ours. It is also the celebration of the one who loves us so dearly that he wants to be with us every day. Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God with us.” That is what happened when Jesus took on flesh and descended to be with us. As his mother put in “Christmas with the Chosen”, “He became one of us for a while.” 

Immanuel didn’t stop when Jesus ascended into Heaven after his resurrection. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20 that he will be with us, always. He is the forever Immanuel. He will remain as the God who is with us until we are fully with him in the true promised land. 

We need to cling to those promises. Life isn’t getting any easier. Every day there are new challenges, trials, tribulations, and temptations. If you turn on the news for five minutes, you’ll be shown countless stories of our fallen, broken world. There’s not a thing in this world that will ever negate the assurances that Jesus has given to us.

 As we approach Christmas day, let’s remind ourselves that the baby grew up to be a man, and that man was and always will be God with us. When we look at the nativity, think about what kind of love must Jesus have for us that he’d be willing to leave the heavenly realms solely to save us. And just as he was placed in that manger, he will forever be placed in our hearts. He will fill them with hope, peace, love, and joy.

If you liked this, then I think that you’ll enjoy my book. You can buy it by going here. Also, I have started a His Kingdom/ Our Good podcast. It’s available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, and Anchor.

Published by smith1626

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot, WV. Mostly, I am a sinner saved by amazing grace.

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