(Farm to table makes me think of a bunch of carrots or radishes pulled from the ground, given a quick rinse and plopped on a plate- that’s what this post is raw and rinsed but not very well. Thoughts that i just kept adding to, then remembering verses to go along side the thoughts. Thoughts that grew in my head and I just plopped them down on this page. So watch out. Chew carefully.)
There are new words that get brought into our vocabulary during the Christmas season. We hear them when we listen to Christmas music. One word is Emmanuel. It is a name of God, it means God with us.
The word shows up in the Bible as a prophecy about the coming messiah in Isaiah 7:14.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
God had been around and among and above and over us but a time would come that God himself would be with us.
We hear the story in the lyrics of the old Christmas Carol “O’ come O’ come Emanuel”
“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
Jesus had a good thing going.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Yet he laid all of that down. Jesus willingly had human limitations put on himself.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Some changes Jesus went through to consider this Christmas season.
The God who was omnipresent was for nine months, inside a womb.
The God who is eternal had a due date.
The God who would pour out his blood for us was connected to his mother and fed by her blood
The God who is omniscient, knowing everything, learned to walk and talk and was potty trained.
The God who never sleeps had nap time.
The all powerful God was carried inside a woman’s body and cared for.
The God who created the heavens and the earth would be formed from cells inside a woman’s body. The immutable unchanging God would grow and add to his stature.
The God who breathed breath into man would have to be burped.
The God who was omnipresent walked from town to town, rode in a boat, rode on a donkey. He was confined to a place and a time.
The word of God was taught how to speak.
The bread of life got hungry.
The way the truth and the life, was inside a body that was mortal. He could be killed. But he couldn’t,being God, stay dead.
Another word we hear at Christmas time is the word Noel. It is a French word meaning to be born. Another meaning is good news.
We are familiar with the word, among other reasons, because of the song, “the first Noel”
🎶“The first Noel, the angels did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay…”🎶
In Luke chapter 2 we hear this very good news from a group of angels.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Luke 2:8-19 NIV
Because he had been born a human, Jesus didn’t stay a baby. He grew into a man. He lived and worked and ate and slept. He worked in the carpentry shop with Joseph. All the while him being God with us.
Jesus came to be with us. He came to rescue us.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Christmas in our modern day has become all about presents. Jesus still fits in this.
Jesus is the present for the present in the present. God did not send his son to condemn the world but to save the world through his death and resurrection.
Noel, born to us is Emanuel, God with us. He came to be with us and he came to save us. He wants to be with us forever so he made a way. In fact He himself is the way.