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The Almighty God became Immanuel, "God with us," so we can spend eternity with him.

From the editor

Here's a short, to-the-point Christmas sermon from Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, and author of Wild Goose Chase (Multnomah, 2008). One of the things to look for is Batterson's ability to encapsulate big thoughts in memorable ways: "He is God Most High and God Most Nigh;" "He (Jesus) became nothing so that we could become something;" "The greatest gift God gives us is the present of presence;" "The best experiences are lacking when we experience them by ourselves."


Matthew 1:18–25:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

One of the biggest mistakes we make in the way ...

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Mark Batterson is lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, and author of Wild Goose Chase (Multnomah Books, 2008).

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I. Immanuel: God with us

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