From Pastor Gary….
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
And they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with us.
Immanuel: God with us. No other religion makes that claim. They believe God to be distant and does not involve himself with the affairs of mankind. Some believe there are many gods each ruling some aspect of nature, but none are in complete control. The religions of the world would put salvation in our hands. Our works are placed on a scale in the hope that at the end of life the scale tips in our favor because our good deeds outweighing the bad.
The God of the Bible, the true God, stands in stark contrast. He is in complete control; he is sovereign over all things. And He is not distant. The God of the Bible is not far off and unconcerned with the affairs of history. In fact, He entered history through Jesus Christ. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. God in flesh and blood came into his own creation. He entered this world because we are unable to tip the scales in our favor. But Jesus can, and did. He came to earth to keep the Law for us. Because he is true God there was no sin in Him. Because he is true man, he could suffer death. Only Jesus Christ, true God and true man, could be the perfect Sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. And that he is.
Immanuel: God with us. He continues to be with us. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” (Matthew 18:20). He comes to us in His Word and Sacrament. We can take comfort in Jesus words as he was ascending to heaven, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Thank you, Jesus for coming into the world to die for our sins and thank you for being with us even today. Amen.
Verse of the day:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4: 4-5)