Summary: A Advent/christmas sermon that discusses how God is with us today!!!!
MT 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
MT 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."
Philippians 3:10 Paul said, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."
Recently I heard on the radio of a hockey coach who was criticised because each of his players had an earpiece. During the match he would call game plans to the players and they would adjust their game accordingly.
After much criticism the coach changed his tactics and drilled his players with the game plan and they went out onto the field and played without the earpieces and still won.
In both cases the players were very aware of their coach and followed his plan.
In both cases when they won the game - which they did - they knew that their coach was happy with them.
Either way the players were aware that the coach was with them.
Our scripture reading this morning exposes for us the name for Jesus - Emmanuel which means God is with us.
Sometimes people seem incredibly alert to the voice of God - sort of like the hockey players who had the earpieces - it as if God were talking directly to them - for others they have a deep sense of the will of God and as they live out their lives in response to what they discern His will to be they have a sense of God’s benevolent smile on their lives.
Both have a relationship with God - both are seeking to obey his will and both relationships are valid.
In the Old Testament we find Moses going up Mount Sinai to very directly relate to God -
EX 24:15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire EX
on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
EX 34:33 When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34 But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
With Moses we find a man who had ready access to the presence of God -
But we know that in scripture this is not always the case.
For example take Job who suffered terribly in silence.