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Seeds of the Kingdom

Immanuel - God with us

by Margaret Silvester

22 December 2010

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“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel – which means “God with us”.
Matthew 1:23, NIV

In the small lounge at Ellel Grange we have a beautiful Christmas decoration. It is very simple, but also profound in the message it speaks. It consists of a row of red candles spread across the width of the mantle-piece with beautifully carved letters spelling Immanuel, spanning the candles. It is a vivid reminder that Jesus, the light of the world, comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness of life and hope and that His name speaks of His character.

For many people Christmas is a happy time, but for others it can be one of the hardest times of the year. It may remind them of a loved one who has died, or some other sad loss that they have been through which has accentuated their sense of loneliness. But what is the essential message of Christmas? It is that Immanuel has come, and God is with us. Christmas is about undoing loneliness. The message of Christmas is that none of us is alone.

The birth of Jesus is set in history. ‘They will call His name Immanuel!’ To be called, according to Hebraic understanding, means that the person spoken of will in reality be what he is called and actually fulfil that title. Thus the name Immanuel points to the nature of the One who bears the name. He is God incarnate – God coming into human flesh – and dwells by His Spirit in the hearts of His people.

Jesus Christ – God’s Son – God with us. What a comfort, what a joy to know He will never leave His own. He knows the frailty of our humanity, the weakness, the pain and the shame of being human because He became one with us. The wonder of the incarnation is that the babe in Bethlehem grew to be the Man who died on Calvary, taking our punishment, our guilt, and our blame, that His life might be ours.

Reflect today on how God is with you, and let the wonderful word Immanuel come alive in your spirit as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas.

Prayer: Thank You God for sending Jesus. Thank You Jesus that You came. Holy Spirit, please come and teach me more about that lovely name - Immanuel. Amen.

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

 

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