Can you believe it, we are 11 days from Christmas. It seems like so much time and it feels like we have no time at all. Some of us are “ready” and some of us haven’t even started. And, we all have different ideas about what this Christmas will mean to us.
Yesterday, my middle school Sunday School class, (The 6 7 8 Project) discussed what it must have meant to the tribe of Israel to think about the Messiah. Many were ready for a king like no other king. A king even greater than King David! A king who would bring the nation together, defeat all of their enemies, expand their territory, and bring respect and prestige back to Israel. They expected the Messiah to end their string of political defeats, to oust their captors and to elevate their financial status to bring riches to all. They expected the Messiah to be the answer to all of their country’s problems!
But, Isaiah described a different king. He wrote: “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:13-14).
The Messiah would be called “Immanuel” – “God with us.”
God, who promises to be with me, is different from the earthly, conquering king that many imagined. He never promised to be the God of a nation; Christ is the God of individuals. He is God with you, with me, with us.
We all come to Christmas differently. No matter what you and yours are dealing with this year, we don’t need an earthly king who will defeat other nations. We need the Son of God, born of a virgin, who carried our sins to the cross and conquered death and sin once and for all.
Immanuel – God with us.