by Richard Laue

Richard Laue
Matthew 1:18-23

When Jesus calls us, He is for us ...
When Jesus saves us, He is in us ...
When Jesus serves us, He is with us ...

We want to talk about that for a bit this morning. Jesus came to be with us. That is what Immanuel means.

Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish theologian of a century ago, tells this story in explanation of how God decided to come and be with us.

Once there was a prince, who was single and very eager to marry a lovely maiden, who would be the future queen. Near the place was a large city, and often he rode in his carriage down to the city to take care of various duties for his father, the King. One day, to reach a particular merchant, he had to go through a rather poor section of the city. He happened to glance out the window, and his eyes met those of a beautiful maiden. He was smitten.

After that, he made many trips through that part of the city always hoping he would see her again. Finally he did see her again, and the more he saw her, the more he knew he loved her. He wanted to marry her more than anything, but how would he ever know, if she truly loved him?

Several ideas ran through his mind.

(1) He could order her to the palace and there propose marriage, but if he did that, he would not know if she truly loved him. He cast that idea aside.

(2) He thought he could arrive at her door dressed in His best and ask for her hand in marriage. But again he cast that aside, because the result would be the same.

(3) He knew what he would do. He would masquerade as a peasant and try to gain her interest. After he proposed, he would pull off his mask and reveal who he was: But as he thought this over, this would be phony, and like a dishonest trick, he couldn't bring himself to do it. But his love for her was so great. He wondered and wondered what he could do to win her.

(4) Finally he decided that his love for her was so great that he would give up his royal position. He would move down into ...

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