Summary: The awesome presence of God in the person of Jesus Christ outstands all human presence in your Christmas celebrations!
A Sunday School was putting on a Christmas pageant which included the story of Mary and Joseph coming to the inn. One boy wanted so very much to be Joseph, but when the parts were handed out, a boy he didn’t like was given that part, and he was assigned to be the inn-keeper instead. He was pretty upset about this but he didn’t say anything to the director. During all the rehearsals he thought what he might do the night of performance to get even with this rival who got to be Joseph. Finally, the night of the performance, Mary and Joseph came walking across the stage. They knocked on the door of the inn, and the inn-keeper opened the door and asked them gruffly what they wanted. Joseph answered, "We’d like to have a room for the night." Suddenly the inn-keeper threw the door open wide and said, "Great, come on in and I’ll give you the best room in the house!" For a few seconds poor little Joseph didn’t know what to do. Thinking quickly on his feet, he looked inside the door past the inn-keeper then said, "No wife of mine is going to stay in dump like this. Come on, Mary, let’s go to the barn." And once again the play was back on track! (sermoncentral.com)
The name "Immanuel", which is derived from the Hebrew words, "IM", meaning "with"; "ANACHNU" or in short "ANU", meaning "us"; and "EL", meaning "GOD", literally means, "With us is God" is a very meaningful name given to the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah wrote it, and the evangelist Matthew rewrote it with direct reference to the writings of Isaiah. That was a gap of around 600-700 years. Biblical history tells us that there had been around 400 years of prophetic silence before the birth of Jesus in that little town of Bethlehem. But regardless of the time difference, both writers penned that description with precision and accuracy. In the gospel of Matthew, the Greek word, "META" (to translate "with") is used to describe the presence of God – "God with us". "Meta" does not only entail proximity but includes participation and association. It proves that our God is an immanent God – He is personally and practically involved in His entire creation. His presence is embodied in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Only-begotten Son, whose birth we celebrate on Christmas Day. It is an awesome presence, indeed!
1. His presence makes us Glad
2. His presence makes us Bold
3. His presence makes us On-Guard
1. His presence makes us Glad
Mat 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.
a. Realize what name you have.
One of the sweetest sounds that a person would ever hear is his or her name. Joseph’s name in Hebrew means "addition" or "let him add". When the angel called out his name, he was reminded that his name means, "Prolific one". The announcement of Christmas reminds us that, if you have received Christ as your Lord and Savior, God calls you no longer by your earthly name but how God calls you – a person who is redeemed, forgiven, saved by the grace of God. Our names make us glad.