Because God Came Down
Terry J. Hallock
December 19, 1999
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. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose here to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 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. 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.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' -- which means, 'God with us.' (Matthew 1:18-23).
The singular title of a singular person separates the message of Christmas and the meaning of Christianity from all other events and all other religions. The title is Immanuel and the person it describes is Jesus. Matthew tells us Immanuel means "God with us" and that it is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. 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.
The heart of what we celebrate at Christmas is that God came down. The God who by the very movement of His lips spoke into existence all that has ever been condescended to be one of us. The One above whom and before whom there is no other, left the throne in Heaven to be born in a stable in Bethlehem in order to take our pain, poverty, suffering, tears, and death as His own. When we gaze into Bethlehem's manger at Mary and Joseph's child we are gazing at Heaven's Child. When we stand in Jerusalem's temple 12 years later and hear that boy confound the wisest men of His day we a ...
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