…They shall call His name Immanuel … [which means] … God with us – Matthew 1.23
We are approaching the end of another year which has been memorable for us. There are both happy and bittersweet things which we will look back on as a church, but of course there have also been significant national events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. Despite these remarkable experiences, we could not say that 2012 has been a year of good news. Life is never like that, and many personal trials and difficulties come to us, along with news from around the world of wars, natural disasters, and so forth.
What a privilege it is, then, to focus on good news – which is never old, never irrelevant, and just as powerfully exciting however many times we hear it:
That news is that Almighty God has intervened in history in a wonderful way – that He Who is eternal, infinite, and holy, has entered His own creation, which has been ruined by man’s sin and rebellion. He has, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, shared in all the joys and troubles of life. Our God is no remote ‘loner’, but rather the God who can be known to us – for the Lord Jesus IS Immanuel – God WITH us!
And that is by no means all of the good news. This great God, who is with us, has come into this world to suffer and to die for all who believe in Him – paying the price for our sin at Calvary’s cross and bringing us peace with God and eternal life. He has done what is necessary to restore the ruin of all nature!
We might find it wonderful that God is with us, but we need to understand why He had to come to Bethlehem as He did. It is because He had to live a perfect life, and then offer that life in place of ours – He must become one of us in order to represent us in life and death, and redeem us. The always-thrilling and never-failing message of Christmas is that He has done just that.
For the second time, it is my privilege to wish a very Happy Christmas to all the congregation and friends of Morton Baptist Church – God is with us, and He always will be.