Summary: A Study of the Names of God – Immanuel – God With Us. Looking at the wonderful nature of his gift at Christmas.

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Getting to Know God – Immanuel – God With Us

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas. It is a great time of year isn’t it. Time that we can spend with family and friends. Deanna and I had a great time in Brisbane, catching up with old friends and with our families. We enjoyed some lovely food and of course gave and received some lovely gifts. I thought I’d bring some of them along today as a bit of a show and tell. I’ve just got 4 here today.

Let’s see. Where should I start... Well I got this lovely shirt from my Dad and Mum. Lovely isn’t it. I mean - am I a trendy guy now or what. Some of you are saying What aren’t you. You know the worst thing about getting clothes from your parents is that they buy you clothes that you would have fitted into about 10 years ago. But since then you’ve changed shape and you need another set of clothes. You know all what I mean. You get fitter and stronger and muscles bulge out in the most unlikely places. And unfortunately you don’t fit into clothes that you did 10 years ago. But this shirt is not too bad actually, I must admit. It will protect me from the elements, keep me from getting sunburnt and be my second skin until I spill something on it and stain it irrepairably - Clothes are always are good present.

Another thing I received from my parents was this dish of glazed fruit. I love fruit and I love glazed fruit. I only get to enjoy it once a year and maybe that is what makes it a special time of year. Mmm it is nice. I’d share it with you all, but there is not enough to go around. I could share it with just a couple of you, but I wouldn’t like to show favouritism by sharing it with just some of you - So I’ll just have to enjoy it myself. You know that they say you are what you eat. So maybe that explains my glazed over look sometimes. Yes I know that some of you are thinking that it says more about me being a bit of a fruit cake – taunt me all you like, I’ve got the fruit.

One of my favorite gifts was this drill from Deanna. I have an old drill that belonged to my grandfather, but not a good electric hammer drill. So even though a cheap one, this is a great present. It is reversible, has variable speed and a 12mm chuck - just about everything I need as a home handyman. It is a practical present. It is not meant to be a decoration, but has a purpose. It is a tool which enables me to be creative - to make furniture, to drill holes in walls so I can hang pictures, to erect fences, etc. A great present.

The last thing I want to show you is this special plate that my sister in law made for me - Us really - It was a joint present, but I know she had me in mind when she made it. It says “You are Special.” It is a plate that we can give to special people that visit us to show them that we think they are special. It is a gift that we can share with others, but I think I’ll be eating off it most evenings though.

I received some good presents don’t you think? I’m sure that you all did also.

It is probably the same everywhere, but in today’s society, it is a bit of a shame that there is more of a focus on the commercial aspects of Christmas than on the spiritual aspects. The shops were packed leading upto to Christmas with millions of dollars being spent on presents and food.

But at Christmas we received the best present that could be given and it wasn’t made of plastic or material – it was made of flesh and blood – it was the Baby Jesus. And this morning, I want us to pause in this busy time of year to look at another one of the names of God (well names of Jesus anyway). I want us to look at this name Immanuel and try to grasp what meaning there is in this word for us now and for the rest of this next year as we seek to serve him in our lives, our church and our communities.

Let’s pause first and pray that our eyes would be openned to what God has to say to us.

Pray Lord, Christmas time is a wonderful time of year, but we can easily be caught up in the commercialism that this world throws at us. Lord, we want to see Christmas for what it really is - the birth of your Son. Help us this morning to catch afresh this realisation. We ask that you would speak to us each one in your own special way and help us to get to know you as Immanuel this morning.

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