Are you good at Math?  How about English?  Did you do well in that class?  Both of them have something in common – you take something and put it together with something else to make…well, something.  In Math, you take numbers and put them together to make an equation.  In English (or any language really) you take words and put them together to form a sentence.

Today, I want to put both your Math and English skills together to make something incredible.  Don’t log off just yet.  This will not be hard.

As of today, there are only a few more days until Christmas. A few more days to complete the shopping.  A few more days to finish the cookies.  A few more days to send the cards and wrap the presents.  A few more days to get the house ready and clean just in time to have people come over and…mess it all up.

Are you ready?  If not, then you are probably thinking, “Since I am not ready yet, why are you making us do homework!?”  Again, it is easy.

First of all, take a few moments to read the Christmas story.  Not the one from Luke 2 but from Matthew 1.  If you need to find it, you can click on this:  Matthew 1:18-25.

Did you read it?  Ready to put the equation together?  It is simple…just put the names together in one sentence.  It is pretty remarkable.  What are the names?  Ok, I guess I will give them to you.  Ready?

Christ; Immanuel; Jesus.

Remarkable, right?! Ok, don’t miss the point.  I know you know those words.  And, I know you know who I am talking about here.  This is the Messiah.  This is Jesus.  Yes, but use your Math skills too.

Remember the whole: “Well, if x=5 and y=2, then what is z in this equation: x+y=z?  Trust me, our equation is just as simple, but it is so much more amazing.

Do you know the meanings of those names?  Christ – what does that mean?  It means “Anointed One.”  This was the One promised from all ages.  Remember where he was anointed.  30 years after he was born, he was baptized.  That was the start of Jesus’ public ministry.  There we heard the Father speak from heaven and the Holy Spirit land on Jesus as a dove.  He was anointed.

How about Immanuel (or Emmanuel)?  It means “God with us.”  The God who spoke and the world came to be; the God who can move mountains and calm storms – he is WITH US.  He isn’t far away.  He isn’t off doing something else and doesn’t notice you.  He is with us; right here, right now!

Finally, how about the name “Jesus?”  It is the Greek equivalent to the name Joshua.  Basic meaning of that name is “The LORD saves.” You read that in Matthew’s Christmas account… 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.” (Matthew 1:21).  He is called Jesus because he saves.

Ok, time for your Math skills.  If Christ = “Anointed One” and Immanuel = “God with us” and Jesus = “The Lord saves,” what does Christmas mean?

“The Anointed One, who is God with us, comes to Save us!”

That is Christmas.  That is our Savior.  That is who was promised.  That is remarkable.  Christmas really shows its beauty in the names of the baby in the manger and what that baby will do!

Merry Christmas!