This concludes our series, “If God Is with Us,” with Part 2 of last week’s sermon, based on Luke 11:1-13. You can also view each week’s sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions:
Let me just say it: of all the times for the angel of the Lord to introduce the name, Immanuel (meaning God with us), to use it to announce to Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit was the worst. Why? Because from that point on, we have thought that Immanuel was a Christmas name and only properly used during Advent. Now, to be fair, Joseph was in a very difficult time and Israel was mourning in lonely exile there and that whole Caesar Augustus tax decree was extremely bitter (tax time always is), and those are all perfect occasions to remind us that God is with us. But somehow, we have lost the connection between “God with us” and our most agonizing times and made “Immanuel” a Christmas word. But I want to tell you, ho, ho, ho, it’s absolutely not. It is a word for us to hold on to and use in every situation, the good and the bad, the up and the down, in riches and in poverty, and in sickness and in health (but especially in the bad, down, poor and sick times!). Why? Because “God with us” is God’s special name that speaks to his love for humanity; and it is a name we need to remember whenever we pass through the waters or walk through the fire or shelter-in-place. For you see, Immanuel, God with us, is God’s name for us to have and to hold forever. Join us for a series entitled, “If God Is With Us. . . .”