Emmanuel: God with Us (Dec 25)

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

December 25

Emmanuel: God with Us 

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 146:1-10 | Zechariah 8:1-23 | Revelation 16:1-21 | 

Proverbs 30:29-31

Today’s Scripture Focus: Zechariah 8

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, [21] and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.’ [22] And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.” [23] This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:20-23 NIV).

The Prophets can be a challenge to read and understand. But underlying the whole of the prophetic scripture is something we dare not miss: God has not forgotten his people and intends to bless them with his very presence: Jesus, the savior is to be born; God with us, Emmanuel. In him, God has come near. Through and through, the prophets point to the coming of God in human flesh to redeem people from the curse of sin. They look forward to the coming of the Messiah: Jesus.

I am always struck by Matthew’s account of the Christmas story. He again and again points out the prophetic significance of each detail of the story. So when I read this passage from Zechariah I am aware that the coming of the Gentiles to pray and worship, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you,” points to the coming of “Emmanuel: God with us.” Jesus came as God in human flesh, God with us, to express God’s love to the whole world that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

To the one who receives Him, he gives the greatest gift of all, Eternal life. Joy to the world! Merry Christmas!

Jesus, Emmanuel, be present in our lives. In our struggles, in our sorrows, in our joys, and in our celebrations, be present today. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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