Immanuel God with Us

Matthew 1:18-23


This has been an extraordinary year – a hard year – and one of the defining experiences for people all over the world has been distance. Distance from family, and friends. Distance from the rest of the world. Distance from normality. We know that this is necessary to regain normality - ‘Staying apart will keep us together’ – and to help get us through this, we’ve been encouraged to look to Christmas; after long months of separation, we will once more be able to enjoy family and friends, joy and closeness.

But what if Christmas doesn’t give us that?

You see, even a ‘normal’ Christmas can remind us of the distance between us – the distance of fractured relationships. We want closeness, but we have a habit of creating distance – and so we’ve been ‘socially distant’ for years! That’s because, ultimately, we are distant from God. We were created to live with him, enjoying intimacy and fellowship, but sin separated us from him – and each other. We were made to be close, but sin makes us distant.

Now, that could have been the end of the story – God could have left things like that – but he chose not to; God wanted closeness. Our sin meant we could not come close to him – so in Christ, God came close to us. Jesus is ‘Immanuel’ – God with us – with us in our joys, our sorrows, with us to save us from our sins. To do so, he had to be cast out and killed – rejected by humans and forsaken by God – but his resurrection assures us that we can be brought close to God.

And so this Christmas, after a year of separation, we celebrate the closeness of God. Sin distanced us from God, but in Christ we are drawn near, and embraced.

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25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Luke Nelson

Luke is the Lead Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne West. He joined City on a Hill in its early days, serving as the Community Pastor in Melbourne, before being asked to lead his own church plant. Having grown up in Melbourne's western suburbs, he has a deep knowledge of and passion for the area, and a great desire to see the gospel bring transformation. A gifted communicator, he loves the work of pastoring a church, opening God's word each week and seeing the Spirit work. Luke graduated with a BA (Hons) from Melbourne University, has a Grad Dip in Divinity from Ridley College, and is close to completing a Masters of Ministry. He is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Melbourne and an active member of the Acts 29.

25 Dec 2020

Louis Glazebrook

Married to Esther and father of three girls (Evelyn, Audrey and Winifred) Louis is the Planting Pastor at City on a Hill Surf Coast. The story that God has written for his life has thus far seen him enjoy a country upbringing, service in the army, working as physiotherapist and now most recently completing an MDiv at Ridley College. A few of his many weaknesses include caramel slice, boys toys, and not putting away his shoes.