Jesus is not the reason for the season – neither for this calendar season nor for this season of your life.

The reason for the season is Emmanuel – God with us.

It might be acceptable to be at a party with strangers, it is good to be at a party with friends, it is better to be at a party with your loved one. Take this “with-ness” one more level – that is Emmanuel – that is God with us.

God is always with us. So, the question really is: Am I with God in the same way that God is with me?

Those WWJD wristbands have it right – What Would Jesus DO – not believe, not wish, not pray, not sermonize – what would Jesus DO?

If we seriously strive to answer that question in all our actions, we will find ourselves striving to live like Jesus. Yet, such striving is inadequate. It is not that living like Jesus is not good or not good enough; it is just that there is more. That is where we find resurrection – the transformation of the human spirit. It is an earth-shaking experience. It is as if a stone has been rolled away from the entrance to our tomb. It is as if the curtain covering the Holy of Holies has been ripped asunder and we are no longer prevented from entering into that place where the immediate and tangible presence of God dwells and there we find our true and best self and find our true and best self with God.

Your journey is not about living for Jesus or like Jesus. Your journey is about being Jesus, being Emmanuel, being “God with us,” being the Good News, being the Kingdom of God on Earth here and now.

Merry Christmas!

This entry was posted in Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , by Doug Sloan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Sloan

Doug is a member of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 4950 East Wabash Avenue, P.O. Box 3125, Terre Haute, IN 47803-0125 (812-877-9959). Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is an open and affirming congregation. Doug is an Elder, has served as Treasurer, enjoys his continuing membership in the choir as the lowest voiced bass and currently is serving as an At-Large member of the Regional Board of the Indiana Disciples of Christ. As a member of the O&A Elders group, he helped write a resolution to change the ordination policy of the Indiana Region. The resolution will be presented at the 2012 Indiana Regional Assembly. He graduated in 2009 with a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana State University and a BS in Management Information Systems from Ball State University in 1997. Since August 2005, he has been a member of the CIS Adjunct Faculty at the Terre Haute campus of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. He has been published in DisciplesWorld and Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice. In the summer of 2010, Doug became a contributor to this blog: [D]mergent.org

6 thoughts on “EMMANUEL!

  1. Doug, while I agree with 99.9% of what you just posted I do take exception to the phrase “Jesus is not the reason of the season”.

    The Christmas Season is all about the birth of the Christ, and therefore I belie He is the reason of the season. Yes, Emmanuel – God is with us goes hand in hand with the birth of Christ and the season.

    Just my two cents from a lay person. 🙂

    • Emmanuel is Jesus, (Matthew 1:23, various chapters of Isaiah) or more simply; an expression that the Messiah- Jesus will be, and is “God with us.” That spirt is the reason for the season.

      “Jesus is the reason for the season” is a divisive statement in my opinion.

  2. Jesus is only an example of Emmanuel.

    Jesus is not the only Emmanuel.

    To truly follow Jesus is to learn how to be and to grown into, eventually – to transform into, Emmanuel, to be another manifestation of God with us by being fully human, by being all that God meant for you to be.

    We are not just in or a member of the body of Christ, we are the body of Christ – the arms, hands, fingers, legs, torso, ears, eyes, heart, mind, blood, muscle, sweat, exertion and voice of Christ in the world.

    “Jesus is not the reason for the season” is indeed a divisive, uncomfortable, unsettling, even disturbing statement. Good. I hope it makes you shudder, ponder, question, re-examine and doubt. When I do this, whose example am I following?

  3. God is certainly with us.

    He came to be our Savior, not our life coach.

    We already know what to do and how to live (since the law is written upon the heart of every person). Trouble is that so much of the time we just flat out refuse to live that way in favor of the ‘self’.

    Yes indeed, we need a Savior and Christ Jesus, Emmanuel, is the One we need.


  4. Pingback: RECLAIMING EASTER | [D]mergent

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