Monday, November 29, 2010

Because Jesus Came

Do you sing Christmas songs all year long? I love Christmas songs. At the church where I grew up, we practiced our Christmas songs early in September. Every year, the junior high and high school choirs would join the adult choir in putting on a Christmas play. Those songs are still in my head and my heart.

One of my favorite songs from the ones we learned was the Hallelujah Chorus. Every time we sang it in the Christmas pageant, the audience stood. Most every time I've heard it in church since then, the audience has stood. There's something majestic about it, appropriate for the King who came to earth as one of us.

"And He shall reign forever and ever." Just what will His reign look like? What does Jesus' reign in our lives look like now? Here are His names: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Wrapped up in His name is His character, majesty, and love. One of His names that best captures His essence - Immanuel.

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14 NKJV). Because Jesus came, we can know God, we can know the truth, we can know what life is all about. God with us. God's purpose is to "gather together in one all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10 NKJV). God wants each of us to know Him, love Him, and draw close to Him. To understand how to do "with." How to walk through life with Him and with others. To be one with Him and to be unified with other believers in Christ, through Christ.

Immanuel. Jesus made "with God" possible when He came to earth as a man and died for our sins. He is a living Savior, and the perfect Person to lead us into a relationship with God where "with" becomes a way of life. This Christmas season we celebrate our Immanuel and the joy of living "God with us."

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