Early in Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew writes that Jesus will be called Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). Matthew assumes his readers are probably not fluent in Hebrew and explains that Immanuel means God with us. Matthew introduces the story of Jesus with a look at the history of God’s people, the violent plotting of wicked Herod, and the strange presence of the Magi, foreign priests, who come to worship this newborn king. All of it can be summarized with the phrase, God with us. God did not enter history at a moment of tranquil peace, but a moment of peril and scandal. He comes into the mess and declares God himself is beginning to set things right. Just two verses after declaring God with us, we read that these strange ‘Magi’ come to worship Jesus. Suddenly we realize that the phrase God with us is not only a statement about Jesus but a kind of invitation. God is coming and making a new ‘us,’ a new family with people from every tribe and language.
Join us for our new Advent series, This is Us, as we prepare for Christmas by looking at questions of family, belonging, and identity. In addition to the messages in our main service, we will also have videos and discussions for this series during A.M. Life Groups (every Sunday morning from 9:30-10:30). Whether you’ve been coming to Life Groups for awhile or never tried it before, this the perfect time to jump in and get to know some new people in the church as we seek to prepare our hearts together. Join us starting December 3.