Phil Cox

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(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)

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Coxy's Christmas message - 2007

22nd December 2007

The story of Jesus is true. Jesus really did live among us.

Matthew 1v19-23
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly
. 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. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, "God with us."

Last week, we looked at two of the names that the Bible gives Jesus, "The Word" and "The Light of the World". The passage above contains two more.

Firstly, the name "Jesus" means "God is the saviour". Jesus was called Jesus both because He is God and because He is our saviour. The angel said that Jesus was "from the Holy Spirit", not conceived by a man. And the angel also said that He must be given the name "Jesus" because "he will save his people from their sins". That is, He is God the Saviour - Jesus.

Secondly, Jesus is called "Immanuel" because "Immanuel" means "God with us". This was in fulfilment of a prophecy of Isaiah:

Isaiah 7v14
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

In all the activity and sentimentality of Christmas, I hope we can take time to remember that Jesus Christ is Immanuel. He was God from eternity, but He came to Earth in the form of a man - to be with us. He walked and talked and ate and slept and went to parties and healed and taught and suffered and rejoiced and went fishing with ordinary people like us. Jesus was The God Who Got Involved. He knew hunger and cold and rejection and tiredness and violence - He experienced what we experience. He joined with us. The God of all eternity became and forever will be man as well as God.

We have a false impression if we think that God just demands that we be with Him. He loves us so much that He is willing to be with us. And He proved it. We needed Him to make the first move. And He did. And we are so lost without Him that we need Him to help us move towards Him in response.

But He is still The God Who Gets Involved. He is and always will be Immanuel. He wants to be involved in your day-to-day life, and in mine. He wants us to talk to Him about our hopes and our concerns, our families and friends and jobs and churches. He wants to go to work with us - do you take Him to work with you? Do to talk to Him through the day? He wants to be in your home - do you talk to Him in the evening. And He wants to be with you in your church. And just as Jesus (God is saviour) was with the people of Galilee and Judea all those years ago, and he met their needs, so He wants to meet our needs. He healed the sick then - and He wants to heal the sick now. He fed the hungry then, and he wants to feed the hungry now. He was a friend to the lonely then - and He's still their friend now - at least, for those who want His friendship.

In 2007, did you neglect our relationship with The God Who Gets Involved? Please, don't neglect Him in 2008. Don't think of Him as someone far away; He is God with you.

And, dear Christian brother or sister, bring the unlimited power of God with Us to others. Tell them the wonderful news that Jesus wants to be God with them, too. He wants to get involved in their lives. Bring the unlimited power of God to others.