Summary: What I’m asking you to do is this: Imagine that the barrier has been removed, and that Jesus has come to be with us today in the flesh. We can see Him, & walk up to Him, & look in His eyes. (Powerpoints available - #114)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(The Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #114.)
Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread, & forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom & the power & the glory forever & ever. Amen.”
Today is Sunday, Dec. 18th. Our schedules are crowded & time is at a minimum. Why? Because we are in what, for many of us, is the busiest time of the year – the Christmas season.
But right now I would like for you just to lean back & forget about the unfinished shopping & all the other things crowding your mind & consider with me the real meaning of Christmas.
Now to help us do that I need your cooperation in imagining with me that just a few minutes ago Jesus Christ walked through those doors & took a seat in this room. Can you do that? Can you imagine that with me?
That shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for us to do because we know that He has promised to be present whenever even two or three gather together in His name. That means that He is here with us this morning.
But since He is a Spirit, we can’t see Him. So even though He is here, there is still somewhat of a barrier to our being able to see Him.
But what I’m asking you to do is this: Imagine that the barrier has been removed, & that He has come to be with us today in the flesh. We can see Him, & walk up to Him, & look in His eyes.
We can talk to Him, shake His hand, or bow down if you want. We can hear Him & listen as He speaks. Imagine that He is here in the flesh.
Now as I said, that shouldn’t be too difficult because, after all, that is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? And if there is one word that expresses the essence, the message of Christmas, what do you think it is?
Well, I believe there is a word that expresses the essence of Christmas, & it is a word used only a few times in the Bible. It is found first in Isaiah 7:14 (quickview) , & repeated in chapter 8. And finally, it is quoted in Matthew 1:23 (quickview) .
Here is the scene in Matthew: Joseph has just been told by the angel that Mary is expecting a child by the Holy Spirit, & that he should not be afraid to take her home as his wife. Then the angel says that this fulfills a prophecy God gave through Isaiah.
And he quotes from Isaiah 7:14 (quickview) , “The virgin will be with child & will give birth to a son, & they will call Him Immanuel…” Then Matthew adds these words: “which means, ‘God with us.’”
Now that’s Christmas! Take away everything else, & it proclaims: “God has come to be with us.” So Christmas means that when you come & when you go, God will be with you.
He’ll be in the car with you as you drive away. He’ll be with you as you do your work. He’ll be with you as you wrestle over the checkbook & try to balance it & pay your bills.