And They Will Call Him Immanuel

Matthew 1:23, NIV

In the time of King David, God’s presence rested in the Ark of the Covenant. It was so holy and
God’s power was so great that if someone even touched the ark- even accidentally- they would
die. God was untouchable.

In Exodus, Moses desired to see the face of God, but God responded that no one could see the
face of God and live (Exodus 33:20). God was unseeable.

When the Temple was built, the Ark was placed in a section of the Temple called The Holy of
Holies. There was a thick curtain between that room and the rest of the Temple. Only one
priest was allowed to go in there and only once a year- no one else. God was unreachable.
Knowing all of this makes the coming of Jesus so much more miraculous. Here was God, who
could not be touched by flesh, choosing to dwell inside of flesh. Here was God, who could not
be touched, reaching out to touch as many people as possible. Here was God, whose face was
unseeable, now having a human face that people could look at. Here was God, through the
death of Jesus, ripping the curtain that separated God from the people.

Hebrews 4:16 says that we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we
may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. What a powerful statement
that is. Through Jesus, we can now no longer fear being in God’s presence. Instead, we can
come to God’s throne at any time- to see God, to touch God, and to be fully in God’s presence.
What a miracle! Through Jesus, we have Immanuel- God with us.

Loving Lord, your holiness is far beyond our limits, yet you have created a way for us to be in
your presence. Thank you for the gift of your Son. Thank you for being willing to be present with
us in human flesh. Thank you for continuing to be present with us through the Holy Spirit. Help
us, this Christmas and always, to be bold enough to come into your presence as often as
possible, for Jesus has cleared the way between us and your throne. It is in Jesus’ holy name that
we pray. Amen.

Pastor Katrina Laude

Homer United Methodist Church
Homer, PA