Immanuel: Christmas and The Meaning of the Incarnation of Christ

Christmas, Immanuel, NativityAs we approach the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, many of us are engaged in a swirl of activity to prepare businesses, homes, and churches for this important day. This is both traditional and understandable in most western cultures around the globe.

Most of these traditions and much of the activity is our human effort to both honor and praise God for sending His only Son from His heavenly home to be born as a helpless infant so that all could have the opportunity of the hope of salvation. However, many of us, including myself, can sometimes ignore the meaning of Christmas for lack of reflection amid the hustle and bustle of the season.

“Immanuel” equals “God With Us”

Christmas, Incarnation, NativityThe New Testament specifically applies the word “Immanuel” to the birth of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel account.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:20-23 [ESV]

These four verses make a staggering statement that encompasses the complete gospel, or ‘good news’ of the New Testament. Moreover, it clarifies one indisputable fact; this could only have been the work of God.

Consider first what actually happened. The angelic message to Joseph said that 1.) Jesus was conceived via the Holy Spirit, 2.) That Jesus would be virgin born, 3.) He would “save his people from their sins” 4.) This was a fulfillment of ancient prophecy and, 5.) Jesus would be the embodiment of “God with us,” which is known as the doctrine, or belief that Jesus is “God Incarnate,” i.e. God in human flesh.

The Incarnation means that God the Son, through the means of God the Holy Spirit and within Mary’s womb, with the authority of God the Father comes to live among His creation as one of us. Only God could have done this, and only a supremely loving God would have done this.

For as soon as Jesus was conceived, the timeline toward His crucifixion began. The Triune God knew beforehand that this would be the case and Jesus came anyway to demonstrate God’s love through the giving of His life to atone for the sins of all humanity.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8 [ESV]

Christmas, Jesus, IncarnationThe love of God shown at the cross of Christ was always within the heart of God. Jesus began manifesting that love among us when He left His heavenly home and humbled Himself to become “God with us.”

Think of it. Jesus left the indescribable glories of heaven and choose to limit Himself to the weakness of human flesh, not for His sake but for ours. He left a domain so far beyond our comprehension, that the Bible says it defies even human imagination.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—  1 Corinthians 2:9 [ESV]

Jesus left this to come and live among sinful, treacherous, unrighteous humanity and be scorned and murdered by His own people. ‘God with us’ meant this kind of love walked among us.

God didn’t need to become human to know us and our joys as well as suffering. We needed Him to show us through Christ how much He loved us, even unto death, and to take our sins upon Himself for our eternal good.

What Were the Odds?

Christmas, IncarnationBiblical students will recognize that the first four books of the New Testament are known as “gospels,” or accounts of the “good news” about Jesus Christ and that each one is written in a different manner or style. The authors record the same overall event, the life of Christ on earth, but from different perspectives and purposely writing to different audiences.

Matthew is written aimed at an audience of his fellow Jews for the intention of convincing them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah come in fulfillment of a multitude of Old Testament prophecies. Thus Matthew cites more prophetic declarations that are manifested in the life of Jesus Christ than any other gospel account.

conservative interpretation puts the number of messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew at 25. Many biblical scholars state that Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies during His life on earth.

Consider for a moment what the statistical odds are of any one person fulfilling this number of predictions about their life. In fact, to make it simpler, a couple of researchers and mathematicians tried to find out the odds beginning with the odds that one person fulfilled just 8 of these prophecies.

In the book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner and Robert Newman discuss the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled. The chance of this happening, they say, is 1 in 1017 power. Stoner gives an illustration that helps visualize the magnitude of such odds: “Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.”

Inset.4.12.18.2019If one follows the number further and calculates the odds of any person fulfilling 48 such prophecies about himself, the odds become 1 in 10 to the 157th power! That’s 10 with 157 zeros after it!

One other calculation to put some perspective on these numbers. The universe is estimated by most scientists to be 12 to 13 billion years old. Using the 13 billion years figure, that means the universe is approximately 4.1 x 10 to the 17th power seconds old.

Now convert that number to the smallest time measure currently used in science, the nanosecond. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second.

That means the odds of any one person fulfilling 48 of these prophecies is astronomically greater than the number of nanoseconds that have passed since the universe has existed! Only a being of infinite power and knowledge could have done this, and only a being of unfathomable love would have done it.

Jesus as Immanuel, ‘God with us,’ was God’s gift to humanity and the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive. Let us be eternally thankful and praise the LORD for such a Divine gift of love this Christmas season and forever.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Lorenzoclick’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of jacinta lluch valero’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Lawrence OP’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ryk Neethling’s Flick page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Jonathan Gross’Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the mother of everything.

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Your success always demands great sacrifice from you.

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Ask yourself.

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Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

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Kuch Khwaish adhuri si…by #VirtualSiyahi

Dil kehta hai thoda thehar ja

Ek do kadam ka chalna bhi jo ab fasla sa lagta hai

Roshan hokar bhi sab na jane kyu dhua dhua sa lagta hai…

Ranjisho aur shikvo ke kisse to naye purane bikhre zamane ho gaye

milne milane ke kisse bhi ab sadiyo purane ho gaye

ab to mulaqat hoti bhi hai to bas us lamhe mein…..

Read Full Poetry Here ☟☟☟

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A Step By Step Guide To Wrapping Presents As A Blind Person

My daughter’s sixth birthday was on the thirteenth, and Christmas is cruising in hard and fast. For me, this time of year involves a lot of present wrapping. When I mention this to sighted individuals, some of the questions and comments I get every year without fail are:

  • Do you have someone wrap them for you?
  • But you don’t wrap them yourself, do you?
  • I know (insert store name here) has gift wrapping services for a really good deal around this time of year! That would be perfect for you!
  • You must need so much help getting ready!

I’ve actually got it covered, guys, and today’s post is to show you how I do it. I’m sorry I couldn’t do a Youtube video about this, but that would require a second person to zoom in at the proper angles and I just don’t have a second person I can bribe into doing it right now.

Read it all here!

…And Order H2O (Part Two)

Yesterday in my post I wrote about the Psychological Concept of Synchronicity as explained by Carl Jung.

Synchronicity does not have fundamental empirical evidence to support it as a “force.” This was pointed out on by reader of the post in a well written comment. However, my Buddha Quote Onepost was not about proving the existence of Synchronicity. Both the primer post and this post are to explain the concept and why I believe it is a “force”–at least in my life–despite the lack of empirical evidence.

Having laid out the bare basics of the theory my personal experience is next.

Let me start by backing up.

I apologize.  This is my third guest post on Success Inspirers’ World site.  I failed to give an introduction as I am a new writer to the site. Given this opportunity to introduce myself I also can wrap in the context and background of where my belief in Synchronicity developed.

When I first started my WordPress Blog, acliddle.blog, I talked about my Spiritual Path in a two part post.  The overall theme of my site is to share the journey of how I became a writer and how my characters’ stories continue to develop, how I continue to develop as a writer. I have been writing stories since I was in first grade.  I have had a love of reading since long before grade school. My grandfather read me nursery rhymes at bed time. Each year at Christmas time, until I was ten years old, I was coaxed into the retelling of the story of the Nativity, which I did from memory for the first time when I was three years old.  The need, the drive, the passion to be a storyteller, a writer, is in my soul.

I believe in messages. Not necessarily from an outside presence.  One way these messages manifest to me is through Synchronicity. Most of the my experiences of Synchronicity are positive and good fortune coming into my life. However, there have times which were negative, karma if one chooses the label, showing me my choice of not cursing or wishing ill on someone who had harmed me was the right choice.

The best example of karma in motion was when I was unexpectedly terminated from my position as Administrative Assistant for a Church. The pastor who was my boss had graduated from seminary and was going through the Ordination Process to be Ordained Full Clergy in June of that year.  The Church only does Ordination once a year and usually the person passes the first time. When I was terminated I was not given a reason for my termination.

Fortunately for me I have an amazing support system and was able to bounce back.

In the first six months after my departure the pastor did not pass her Ordination, had a fender bender which was bad enough the insurance opted to total her car, and broke her ankle in same accident. I wished no ill. Prayed no vengeance against my boss. I genuinely felt bad for her when I found out these things happened. She has since gone on to be ordained, gotten married and has children. Yet, at the time she wronged me, the Universe balanced the books.

For many years I believed in Serendipity instead of Synchronicity. Happy accidents.  Luck. Those times were mainly during my teens. As I matured, studied Buddhism and became more conscious of my thoughts and actions Synchronicity started to make more sense.

The Secret and The Circle touch on a version of Synchronicity. Since the 1970’s, if not earlier, the idea of Positive Thinking has become a large, almost mainstream movement. Some mock the idea, some are fanatic about it, most do whatever they can to make money off of it.

People who are fanatical, as those who are vehement critics, both miss the mark.  As a believer of a Middle Way and everything in moderation, taking the principle ideas of Synchronicity, The Secret, The Circle, and other teachings and using them to adapt my worldview is the best practice I have found.  I do not go to the extreme of shunning every sick person or sitting on my butt day in and day out without activity toward making my wish a reality.  At the same time I don’t dismiss the ideas as whimsical or vapid. Instead, I use the knowledge gained to guide my activity, making conscious choices in my actions, thoughts, and speech.

The most recent Synchronistic events happened in the last couple of weeks.  Since I am currently unemployed I have been focusing my attention back on the *Bear and Hunter* book series I co-author.  Though we are nowhere near being able to afford the making of an audiobook I like to do my research ahead of time.  So I have been looking into what it takes and how much it would cost to record and distribute.  One day I happened to catch a friend of mine at his home. We have not been able to get together and really talk for several months.  He happened to be off and his house is on the main drag of the town.  I drove by after going to the store and was on my way home.  So I got to talk to him. At the same time I have started therapy online. I talk to a counselor over the phone.  I have had three sessions at this point.

When I was a little girl my grandmother, as part of her ministry, would take me around to nursing homes and make me sing for old people. Fortunately for her I am a Leo so I wasn’t too traumatized by these memories.  As I grew older I continued to show fearlessness in front of an audience. By high school I was doing vocal lessons and in band, choir and Speech and Drama. Quite by accident (a story for a later time) I discovered I was good at public speaking and people liked the sound of my speaking voice as well as my singing voice.

Keeping all of this in mind, earlier this week on Wednesday, I was talking to my therapist.  She knows I am not working but my unemployment is not the issue I am currently tackling.  As a completely unrelated tangent (again this was only the third time we had spoken on the phone) she asked me if I had thought about doing voice over work, i.e. recording for audio books. She says I have a pleasant voice which she would pay to listen to me read one of her favorite authors so I should give it a shot.

I was looking to find someone to be the voice of our book, not the other way around.  Yet, this was an intriguing possibility my therapist had suggested.  It has potential.  The friend who I finally reconnected with the other day happens to do DJ work and has equipment and software to record and edit.

As I am writing this post, my friend is editing a sample of my recordings to post on ACX. In the span of a little over a week I had the thought of creating an audiobook, had it suggested I record audiobooks, and reconnected with a friend who has the resources to record my voice.

While this is the not the neon-lit eureka moment story to convince die hard skeptics of Synchronicity it is for me the latest example of how being conscious of the moment, of keeping a positive outlook, and of going with “gut-feeling” or “little voice” can lead to a new and good things in life.

Philanthropy: Love of mankind

Summer is here, All I need now is love,

I rise like a dove in search for a bud,

I don’t want to bear this armor anymore,

I want love,

A green youth turning to a much darker age,

I don’t see myself growing I just stop and wait,

I was a white knight, but now it’s too late,

I want to be known as Alexander the great,

Why not live for life’s sake?

More meaning in the inner most feelings,

I hope to share with my soul mate,

My skin is brown, from another town,

Still I see friends and family with people of another background,

Rainbows all around birds singing in the background,

Why am I so worked out? I’d like to say fuck it and work out,

Fever of love reaching higher degrees,

Sometimes I wished I’d disappear, like never mind me,

I want to be set free, like a slave hoping in infinity,

Is there something wrong about me?

I hope you’re happy when you see me,

Cause I want you and me to be,

 

 

 

 

What Is To Be? Is The World Coming To An End Or? Is Mankind To Prevail Over The Almighty’s Power And Authority Over His Creation? Time Is Telling ….

 

Journal—An Ongoing Dialog Between thiaBasilia And Master Yahuwah/Yahushua. …

Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm.

Time Is Telling No Doubt ….

The human element is going on, on queue –Knowledge. Business. Entertainment. Romantic Love. Noble humanistic ways, on and on the busyness goes on and on, but!

Time is telling. Time is saying—loudly lovingly saying, “I AM COMING TO MY END. BEWARE, O HUMAN, BEWARE!

Ha! A Doomsayer! Nonsense! Maybe Not. Read On …?

This day is coming to an end with a great note! O my Father? You are full of wonderful surprises for Your child.

Yesterday was a downer, but! Today? It turned out to be an upper! The cause? Whatsapp. SIWO Board Members. My inability to type in the phone screen.

All that insidious junk running through my carnal mind, but! My Father’s love and wisdom prevailed. Father whispered to me:

“Go to Whatsapp in your desktop. Read the instructions carefully to activate the app in your computer so you can type your heart out to communicate with the Board at SIWO.”

Wow! This time? In no time all my computer is set to handle whatsapp from my desktop. What a feat conquered!

Victory! Defeat! Up! Down, But! ….?

It’s now 11:35 pm. Suspense. Nothing has happened for the last couple of hours. I find myself as usual? Not knowing which way to turn, but! That’s only momentarily.

Anyhow? I’ll go to bed. Things will look better when I wake up if? I go to sleep. Perhaps things would look worse. No matter. In glee or gloom? You always zoom!

Good Reason To Sit Still And Wait ….?

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 3:07 am.

O my Father, thanks for Your Presence. I am not alone. Even so, the human element is not to be found, but!

You have good reason for things to be the way they are. I must sit still if I want to see Your deliverance.

It’s now 6:44 am. Indeed! I MUST sit still. I haven’t got the slightest about what’s happening with me. Nor have I the slightest about what’s happening in my world.

Definitely? My Eyes Are Set On You. The Human Element? I Now Understand It.

Whether the human element recognizes You in me or not? You are in perfect control of the human element

Me? I am human. You are in control of every minute detail of my life. Your children? My children and brothers and sisters.

Father’s Wisdom Prevails In My Life ….?

I continue to find myself so full of laughter, compassion, immense undying love for all my deserters and children and brothers and sisters!

Whatever happens between them and myself? Once I get over my shock? I continue to hear:

“Think like I think, respond! Reason with your brother et all. Reason with the wisdom I have instilled within your being.”

So, That’s What I Do. Then? The Vicious Circle! Shucks!….?

I get bent out of shape because I don’t get standing ovation from mine? O dear! What a tricky thing this carnal self of mine is!

Nay! I Am Human, But! No Need To Act Like The Wicked Human That I Am ….?

What I write? What I say? What I do? It’s all from the innocent child’s heart my Father gifted to me. It ALL comes from my Father’s heart not from my wicked human self.

Unbelievable! ….?

It’s unbelievable the pickles I get myself into from telling ALL people—female, male, young or old, “I love you! Give me a hug!” Never thinking of how it sounds.

The Shock Of My Life ….?

It was not until I came to these parts of the world that I got the shock of how people takes the famous 3 letters word, I LOVE YOU. Can you believe it, dear Reader?

The first instruction given to me when I arrived to these parts of the world? “Do not tell these men, ‘I love you’ for they take it you mean you want to go to bed with them.”

What? That Was A Shock Of Shocks, But!

An even worse shock? NO HUGS! Not even shaking hands. Do not touch the male element at all.

Even the women. If it is a friend? You kiss on their left and right cheek. If it is a fond friend? You kiss two or three times, but! Men?

It’s Totally Amusing To Me ….?

If we are visiting in their parlor and the husband or brother appears and announces a male visitor? The woman quickly get up and leave the room—they run for cover!

I remain in the room not knowing what’s happening because I don’t speak the language. Immediately, the male visitors appear with their respectful greetings.

I Am Ignored Like I Am Not There At All ….?

I watch. They pretty much ignore my presence. They simply go on with whatever their visit is about. Later on? I’m instructed. I do not have to run for cover. I am exempt. Phew!

The Tradition Must Be Kept ….?

If the woman goes to the roof or in any public place? She MUST cover her head least a man sees her uncovered head and takes her for a bad woman.

Of course, all that is changing. The older woman are having a time to get their young daughters to stick to the tradition, so? They tell them all kind of incentives for them to do so.

The Television ….?

Unfortunately? The television industry is prevailing over any such traditions. The young girls go now with ripped tight fitting jeans and Western style fashions in addition to the head cover. Beats the world out of old fashion me!

Anyhow? Coming To My Bout With The Human Element ….?

My Father’s mercy for me! He knows me like a book. I am His little girl. I amuse Him. Yes, I do, but!

The human element? They do not—better yet? They CANNOT understand nor accept my reality as my Father’s little girl. For the most? They think such to be nonsense! So I been told.

Regardless! I am what I am by my Father’s design and purpose for my birth and life in these earthly grounds. Here lately?

No More Begging For Human Approval.

No more begging for standing ovation. No more regard for whatever my carnal mind and heart can come up against my little girl’s reality in the Presence of my Loving Father.

Father’s Love And Wisdom Prevails In My Heart And Mind. I Think Like He Thinks ….?

I’m going on. Father’s love and wisdom prevails. In my heart there rings a melody of Father’s love for all. No problem anymore. I think as my Father thinks. I’m going on!

Meantime and until the next post? His love in my heart for you and for all stays there to stay for eternity, thiaBasilia.