Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Monday, December 24, 2007

God with Us

Another delightful quote from the North Prairie Pastor. He's fast becoming one of my favorite preachers to plagerize:

"And so we come to the edge of the mystery of Immanuel, “God with us.” We can talk about it. We can say what happened, but we can never really say how. It is beyond all understanding that the almighty God, creator of all that exists, could actually become part of His creation and get mixed up in it. How that could happen, and what it means for God, I have no words for. But I do know what it means for you and what it means for me. It means that as we stumble around here in our darkness, mumbling our pitiful prayers and fumbling with our hymnals, Jesus Christ is here with us. Jesus Christ is here with us. How often does that wondrous fact actually move through our ear-holes, into our brains, and into our hearts? Has it affected us at all? Do you realize, do I realize, what we are saying when we say God is here with us? That where two or three are gathered, there is Jesus in the midst of them? In the midst of us? This is the holy God, before whom angels hide their eyes and mere humans fall on their faces in the dust! We should be struck with the sheer absurdity of it all, that God and man should be united in a single person. Further, that He would actually be among us sinners. Maybe we need Isaiah’s vision in this place: Yahweh sitting on His throne and His robe filling this temple; burning angels with six wings covering their faces and feet and flying around calling out, “Holy, holy, holy is [Yahweh of armies]; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3)! Maybe we need the very thresholds and foundations of this temple shaken with the voice of God Himself, and this house filled with the smoke of His presence. Perhaps then we might realize in whose House we are, in whose presence we stand. I might not be so indifferent then. I might actually cry out with Isaiah, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, [Yahweh of armies]” (Isaiah 6:5)!

"But, despite what Isaiah deserved, despite what we deserve, “God with us” does not mean that we die. Another name for Immanuel is Jesus, and His Name does not mean “for He will finally give His people what they deserve.” The name Yehoshua means, literally, “Yahweh is salvation.” He is called that because that is what He does. As the angel promised, He saves people from their sins."

You can read the whole sermon, which I highly recommend:


Blogger Elijah the Tishbite said...

You humble me.


1:03 AM  
Blogger Pastor Krenz said...

If we really took the idea of "God with us" seriously, we might not say things like, "We won't be in church Christmas Day, Pastor, because that's our family time." We might not say things like, "I'm sorry I wasn't in church this month, Pastor. I've just been busy and Sunday is my only day to catch up on sleep." The fact that God is with us can be a terrible thought when we look at our sin. But as you point out, Pr. Winterstein, God doesn't do what we expect. We don't die. We live and have life because God is with us. It's really a Gospel statement that God is with us. Only the Gospel can free us from our lazy, sinful flesh and bring us where God has promised to be for us. Thanks again for a great sermon.

8:24 AM  

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