Power to the Nobodies

So far in our journey to discover the heart of Jesus’ being God with us, we have looked at the “God” side of things. Today, we’re going to flip them on their head to see more clearly what it means that Jesus is “with us.” I’ll give you a hint: It reveals a humility that is truly unique in a proud world. Read on in the third part of our series, God with Us, to find out just why this idea is such a good one.

Power to the Nobodies

We love rags-to-riches stories. We love hearing about people who are down on their luck, but by working really hard (and receiving a bit of good fortune), suddenly coming into a life of ease and plenty. There’s simply something that feels just to us when the arrogant rich are brought low and the humble poor are lifted up. Think about how many of our stories include this kind of an element in them. Cinderella is perhaps the most famous of them. But that same theme appears all over the place. If you think through the list of Disney Princesses, nearly half of them (there are twelve total) started out poor and became a princess because she married the prince. Of the rest, nearly all of them went through a season when they lost all the trappings of wealth before coming back into it again at the end of their story. We want to see this dramatic transition happen because most of us don’t feel rich and live vicariously through their good fortune. 

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Bigger than We Imagine

This week we are continuing in our series, God with Us, by starting to unpack that phrase itself. If Jesus is God with us, what does that mean? Well, let’s think about the words themselves. There are two parts here: Jesus is God, and Jesus is with us. Let’s start with the idea that Jesus is God. What does that really mean? The apostle Paul had something to say to help us get our minds around it. Let’s talk about just who Jesus is and what that means for us.

Bigger than We Imagine

Over the last generation, The CBS network has proven itself to be a bit of a genius when it comes to creating really engaging reality shows that attract a fairly sizable and very dedicated viewing audience. As a result, they have a few that have been on the air for a very long time. I remember folks who would get together to have Survivor watching parties each week when I was in college, and the show is still going strong. Another of their more popular reality series that never made it to quite that level of popular impact, but which has nonetheless endured for more than a decade, is a show called Undercover Boss. 

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Songs of the Season: Matthew 1:22-23

“Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,’ which is translated ‘God is with us.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The day is finally here! I’ve been waiting for this year’s round of Music of the Season Fridays for months. Each Friday of this Advent season we will pause and give some attention to some great music that gets the spirit of the season right. Some of these will be songs that are intimately familiar, some will be totally new and original. All of them are ones that caught my attention for the way they capture the message of the season in a way simple words just can’t do. And, to make it even easier for you to enjoy, I’m not going to put any of it behind a click through. It’ll all be right here in your inbox. That, of course, means I’m not going to write as much because I want the songs to be the star here, not me.

This first song of the season is one that I didn’t even realize was a Christmas song the first few times I heard it. It was just playing in the background. But one day when I was listening through my AirPods – which always allows me to give the actual lyrics of a song greater attention than I usually would – it dawned on me what they were singing about. Not only is this a great song, but it is actually a perfect accompaniment to my sermon series this season. In fact, it just almost has the same title: For God Is with Us. As you begin your day, take a few minutes and listen to the way Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King and Country capture the wonder of the idea that in Jesus God Himself came to be with us. I hope this will stir your heart with the significance of this idea as much as it did mine. Blessings to you as you begin the second weekend of Advent.

The Beginning of an Idea

This past Sunday morning was the first Sunday of Advent. With the season in mind, we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, God with Us. For the next few weeks, we are going to take a look at this idea that Jesus was to be named Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.” Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll examine both the glorious and the humble aspects of this. Today, though, we’ll start with a look at where the idea came from in the first place. May this be the beginning of your preparing to receive Jesus as we move forward into this sweet, sweet season.

The Beginning of an Idea

One of the benefits of living in a culture steeped in nostalgia is that sometimes our forays into it can be pretty fun. One of the most classic sports movies when I was growing up was Disney’s The Mighty Ducks. It was one of those special movies that got everything just right. It certainly wasn’t going to win any awards, but it generated two sequels, both of which did reasonably well—especially once they left the theaters. More than that, the first film actually resulted in the naming of a new hockey team in the Los Angeles area that is still playing today: the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. I can’t think of another professional sports team that was named after a kids’ movie. Well, as Disney+ strives to attract subscribers by producing content intended for both kids and their parents who grew up in my generation, they are leaning pretty heavily on nostalgia to hook viewers and reel them in. One of the titles they have resurrected from the past in order to do this is none other than The Mighty Ducks. 

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:23

“See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We love the idea of going on a quest. We may not necessarily want to go on one ourselves, but we love the idea. Every good story is based around some kind of a journey. We have to get somewhere in order to do something, overcoming some obstacles along the way. This concept pulses so deeply in our hearts that it lies at the root of our religion too. Every religion is about people going on a quest to obtain the blessing or the power or the presence of the divine. Every religion, that is, save one.

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