Emmanuel – “God is with us” – means we will never again be lonely.

Nativity of the Savior - Dec 25 2017 / Jan 7 2018

Synopsis: The meaning of Nativity is described in one word – “Emmanuel”, which means “God is with us”. Man was made to be with God, always, but sin made him lonely. God became man – so that He would be us – so that He would be with us – so that we would be able to never be lonely again.

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Nativity of Christ http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/nativity-01.jpg

“For God is with us know ye nations and be vanquished for God is with us.

That is from one of my favorite hymns. It’s from Great Compline, which we sang last night. “God is with us”, in one word is - “Emmanuel”. Jesus Christ is called Emmanuel: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) This is the meaning of Nativity, that God is with us.

 

In the garden God was with Adam and Eve. He walked with them and He talked with them face-to-face. They were never lonely, they were never frightened, they were never confused. And then sin happened, and when God walked in the garden they were afraid and they hid themselves from Him. This is what sin does. It estranges us from God. It is not that God doesn’t want to walk in the garden with us, it is that we cannot see God face-to-face because of our sins.

 

And God could not abide that, because He created us to be eternal and to be with Him at all times – to never be lonely, to never be sad, to never be confused – to only be pure and full of knowledge and goodness and happiness.

 

But because of sin (we well know) that does not always happen. So what God did, as a mutual decision of the Trinity (because they always decide everything together, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit) is decide that the Father would send His only begotten Son, the Son who was begotten before ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Who created the universe – He would send His Son down to be with us, and to become a man just like us. So now and forever, God truly is with us, and the reason He was with us in history is so that we could be with Him in eternity.

Have you ever observed when a small child is frightened or maybe they get a small boo-boo? What do they do? They immediately look for their mother, and in some cases their father, and they run to their mother or father, and then they are better. They might cry little bit, but they are comforted and then they go off and play.

 

When they are injured they are very lonely.

 

One of my children, she used to start to cry, and if nobody was there she stopped until she got where mom or dad was, and then she started to cry again. Remember that Natalie? Come on, you used to do that, you were very foxy about that. You could actually hold a cry for a minute until you found somebody to cry to.

 

The reason she did that is because she had some pain, emotional, physical - whatever it was, and she wanted to be comforted. She felt alone, so she ran to someone so she would not feel alone. That is the image of what God wants us to be able to do. That’s why He became man, so that we would not be alone.

Just as a child receives comfort that way, we should receive it, but we’re too complicated, we’re too full of sin, we’re too lazy, we’re too this or too that. We have needs, whatever they are, but we don’t go to God to be comforted. We don’t feel God being with us. We should feel God with us as much as our breath is with us. That’s what Job said; he could feel the Spirit of God in his nostrils[1]. The reason is because of the God men Jesus Christ even before His Incarnation, because he can do all things and bring Himself to people.

 

But you must be with Him in order for Him to be with you. This is a critical idea.

 

Everything in life is about God being with you. This is what Nativity is – the Son of God before all ages, decided to be with us, so we should get our comfort from Him.

 

It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s very complicated in life, but basically, it’s like a child who needs comfort – that’s us. If you’re anxious or angry, if things are not going well in life, if you are confused – it’s because you are lonely. It’s because you are not completely with God, and Jesus Christ became man so that you could be with Him –– that is the meaning of Nativity.

Now there’s a lot of theology that we could speak about, but that’s basically it: To be like a child and to run to God with our needs, and to feel Him to be with us - that is Nativity.

Christ is born!



[1] Job 27:3 “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.”