December 6, 2016- They Will Call Him Emmanuel, God With Us – Matthew 1:22-23, Isaiah 53:3-5

Nativity

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” – Matthew 1:22-23

The reality of Jesus- God the I AM, coming to earth to live as a human being, along and with human beings is difficult enough to wrap our heads around.

Imagine what it would be like to be Mary.  She was a teenage girl, likely only thirteen or fourteen, when God’s angel came to her and told her that she was going to be Jesus’ earthly mother.

Teen pregnancy is difficult enough today, but imagine coming to your parents with her announcement:  “Hey everyone, I’m pregnant.  But don’t worry, it’s God’s Son.  I’m still a virgin. I’ve never been touched by a man.”

How many parents would fall for that line?  Better yet, how many fiancés would believe it?

Mary was telling the truth, but even so, there would have been stigma and shame.  No doubt the community would be casting aspersions upon her family, and wondering if Joseph was being taken advantage of.  People snicker.  People talk.  People say not so nice things about other people’s morality, even if they don’t know the whole truth.

He was despised and rejected by others;
    a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
    and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
    struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
    and by his bruises we are healed. – Isaiah 53:3-5 (NRSV)

Yet the messy and lowly manger is how God entered this complicated and often insensitive world of humanity- born under what some might consider questionable lineage, raised in the home of a modest tradesman.  He was not born into a house of royalty or nobility, but in a stable surrounded by farm animals.

When we think about God’s possibilities and how he enters our lives, do we put limitations on how we think God should enter in?  Or do we seek him in the lowly and unlikely places?

 

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