Christmas Light: #1 Emmanuel, God with Us
Christmas Lights - Introduction
For this Christmas Season, I would like to share Four Christmas Lights. Light in God’s Words denotes truth. In a world where Absolute Truth is under attack, one must embrace and stand in awe of the One True God and the power of His Word that is able to bring life and light to every situation. This is the beginning of gaining true wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and the knowledge of Him will bring the understanding needed to properly represent Him and be light in this dark world. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4).
Christmas Light #1 Emmanuel, God with Us
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
Christmas Light, Emmanuel, God is with us is a very comforting statement. To know that God is with us brings a sense of hope and assurance that we will never be alone, but as I read this passage this year, God added more light to the true meaning. “I was here with man before I robed myself in flesh; I am Spirit, and I am Omnipresent. I am ever present with man, but I want you to understand that I am with you, relating to you and your circumstances. I can identify with you.” God went on to remind me of everything He experienced as man - rejection (His birth was thought of as unlawful/illegitimate, He was born on the wrong side of the tracks, He experienced poverty and was homeless, He was unattractive), He was the object of gossip, experienced family dysfunction, was raised by a single mother, lost His earthly father at a young age, was falsely accused, humiliated, mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, bullied, stabbed in the back, betrayed by a friend, misunderstood, had very few friends, was labeled as crazy, was arrested and put in jail for no reason, and sentenced to die without having a fair trial. God is with us; He has shared in and experienced our humanity. God robed himself in the flesh to identify with us and ultimately to die for our sins. The True Light in this Truth is that God became like us so we could become like Him.
In Matthew 25:31,33-40 KJV, Jesus speaks of an event that will take place in the future:
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Why did Jesus specifically mention these six misfortunes - hunger, thirst, homelessness, nakedness, sickness, and incarceration??? He experienced it; read in between the lines of His Word. No one witnessed and wrote of His incarceration because no one visited Him. He was moved with compassion for the sick, the hurting and those who were hungry because He had experienced it. Jesus shared in our brokenness. He understands and can relate to life as a human being in a fallen world full of hurt and pain. He invites us in Matthew 11:28-30 to come to Him, those who are weary and heavy laden, and promises to give us rest and refreshing. He also invites each of us to yoke up with Him; this yoke denotes something that is burdensome - life is hard, but it also denotes a close relationship and compatibility. The Jewish people were commanded in the Bible to never yoke an ox and a donkey together (Deut. 22:10, Lev. 19:19). These two animals are entirely different in so many aspects. It would be burdensome to both animals and almost impossible for them to work together. Jesus’ invitation is both encouraging, promising and empowering, and if you listen, you can hear Him saying, “I am more with you than you think; I became like you so you could become like me. We are compatible, and I want to partner with you; you can do this! You can be just like me.” He’s right here beside us. He invites us to learn of Him, and this knowledge of Him brings the understanding needed to properly represent Him, and be light in this dark world. Whatever you are experiencing today, know that God is here to deliver, recuse, encourage and empower you to greatness and purpose; His invitation never expires. In Him is life; and the life is the light of men (John 1:4).
Tonda Loyd Henry