- Lorie Hedgepeth
"...shall call his name Immanuel."
The hustle and bustle of the holidays has begun! Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone, and the next four weeks will be filled with Christmas shopping, family gatherings and, of course, food. One trip to Walmart is enough to cause anyone to become an online Christmas shopper. Christmas: the event that has forever changed the world and brought hope to a lost and hurting humanity! Although Jesus’ birth took place over two-thousand years ago, it still intrigues and inspires those who read about it.
First, consider with me the presence of the prophetic that surrounded His birth. Isaiah prophesied:
“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Luke 1:67-69 records the fact that Zacharias, filled with the Spirit, prophesied of the ministry of Jesus. And, it was the prophetess, Anna that testified of Jesus being sent as the Redeemer (Luke 2:36-38).
The ministry and message of Jesus was marked by the prophetic. He prophesied of His betrayal, His being denied by Peter, His death and resurrection. He prophesied of His return and the events that would precede His return. The New Testament church had a prophetic voice as noted in I Corinthians. Many people will cross the threshold of our churches during the Christmas season. Currently, we find ourselves surrounded by voices and opinions of every description. Political voices, voices of the news media, racial voices, and the voices on social media. How this world needs the prophetic voice of God’s Church! Choirs can sing, pageants and programs can be presented… but may there be a prophetic voice that preaches the Christ of Christmas to those in search of the Savior.
Secondly, notice the worship that accentuated His birth:
· In Luke 1:46, Mary magnified the Lord, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”
· In Luke 2:13, heaven’s angels gave praise, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God…”
· Speaking of the Wise Men, Matthew 1:11 says, “And when they had come into the house, they
saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him.”
Each of those mentioned above, worshipped Jesus even though they did not know Him as we know Him. He was called Immanuel—we know Him as “God with us”! We know Him as the crucified Christ, Risen Redeemer, and Soon Coming King! We have been convicted by His Spirit, moved by His Mercy, cleansed by His Blood, strengthened by His Word, and empowered by His Spirit! Let the Church rise in worship and praise! He inhabits the praises of His people.
May those that attend our services during this Christmas Season experience the power and love of the Savior’s Presence!