God is with us!

Pastor Bond Haldeman - 2006 - presentWhen I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? (Ps. 8:3-4)

Think with me for a moment about the immensity of God, the Father, the Creator of all the universe. When I see pictures from the Hubble Telescope, I am amazed at the creativity of God that so greatly exceeds even the diversity of this small planet. That God has created multiple entire galaxies beyond our own is so astounding to me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. (Ps. 51:4)

This vastness of God’s Creation can at time make me feel so small and alone. Not to mention my own alone-ness in the world in which I live. We are separated one from another by sin in all its forms. Even more we are separated from God. Isn’t that the definition of sin, to have “missed the mark” in our relationship with God.

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20b)

And yet, in spite of the vastness of creation, my smallness in the universe, and my sinfulness before the righteousness of God, God wants to be in relationship with me! God loves me and redeems me and calls me and empowers me. And God wants to be in relationship with you too. To love you and forgive you and call you and empower you too!

An angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 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.” (Mt. 1:20b-23)

To bridge the gap between us and God, to make possible our right relationship, to make sure we know God’s love, God himself comes to us in Jesus Christ, and gives of himself to us in the Holy Spirit. That is the message of Christmas. Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift, because in Jesus, God is with us, in our midst, and on our side. Thanks be to God! Have a blessed Nativity!

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