was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself up and placed her most precious one in a human womb. The omnipotent, in one instant, made Himself breakable. He, who had been a spirit, now was pierce able. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And He who sustains the world with a word, chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl. God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created. God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of His mother. God had come near.”

The Greatest Presence of All
I hope many of you read the excellent article that Pastor Jeff wrote in last Saturday’s Daily Leader. I really liked how he ended it when he referred to Jesus as the greatest “presence” of all. That sums up what Immanuel really means. The greatest present is the presence of Christ. This involves three things.

1. The gift is Jesus Christ Himself. With all the other trappings of the season, we must never forget the Christ of Christmas. While it’s become a cliché, Jesus is the reason for the season.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

John 4:10: “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Romans 5:15: “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”

2. This gift has great value. Alan Perkins puts it this way: “Although there is truly nothing more desirable than knowing Christ, many people just can’t see it. Their eyes haven’t been opened. They look into the manger, and they don’t see a king. They don’t see the Savior of the World. They don’t see “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace…” All they can see is an ordinary human being. And so, they pass by the child in the manger and instead seek after the presents. Which do you value more, the toys and trinkets of this life that will all eventually crumble into dust, or a relationship with Jesus Christ that will last forever?”

For some reason, many people refuse to accept God’s gift. We gain insight into this from Mary as she contemplated the baby swaddled in her arms. She was so filled with thankfulness that she burst into a psalm of praise in Luke 1:46-48: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” As she praised God, she also recognized that not everyone would be so thankful for the gift. She opened her arms and her hands to accept what God wanted to give her. Sadly, there are others, maybe even some of you here tonight,