December 19, 2004

Henry Hildebrand - “God with us”

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On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Henry Hildebrand spoke of the concept of God being with us (Immanuel). Although we often ask that God "will be with" someone, just what do we expect of God? In order to help us answer this question for ourselves, Henry surveyed scriptures, selecting stories which spoke of God being with people. Enoch (Gen. 5.22) "walked with God". Elijah, a "man of God" victoriously stood up against pagan worship, and yet suffered severe self doubt and depression until being restored by God's presence (2 Kings 2.11), hearing the quiet voice. God's presence in Noah's life (Gen. 6) meant that he was chosen for a very special task. For Moses (Ex. 3), it meant facing monumental challenges and a call to leadership (Deut. 34.10). Gideon was asked to go into battle in a very strange manner which ultimately enabled others to credit God with the victory. For Joshua (1.5-6). God's presence meant courage over fear. David, who knew the anguish of losing a child to death, remorse over sin, the rebellion of another son, felt God's presence in forgiveness (Ps. 51) and in the face of death (Ps. 23). For Daniel it meant safety, for Sarah, Elizabeth and Hanna God's presence meant motherhood, and for Peter's mother, Immanuel meant healing. When Mary was told "The Lord is with you", history was changed. So what might it mean for us if we wish to have God go with us? It might well mean any of these things, or still others, for the gift of Immanuel's presence is not limited by either stories or our imagination. [JEK]


Passage: Mt 8:14-17
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Fourth Advent
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Henry Hildebrand
Worship Leader: Jackie Bolen
Song Leader: Ann Marie Neudorf
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Jeff Schulz
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


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