The Advent Series

December 1, 2022

Emmanuel: God with Us


On this first day of December, take a moment to reflect on the state of our world. The cold has settled into Ukraine where the slaughter continues. In Europe, heating bills are extraordinarily high. The economy has seen better days and in our own nation, the divides are great. In addition, each of our own families has unique challenges that concern us. This year the global population has passed the 8 billion mark, and there is famine in significant parts of our globe. Covid continues to be an issue in many countries.

There was another day when life was bleak, and hope was lost. It was in the time of the prophet Isaiah that the Lord gave this promise to Israel: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This was to be a sign of hope and that ancient sign predicted the coming of Christ into a lost and dark world full of needy people.

Immanuel is my favorite name for Jesus because it means “God with us.” With the coming of Christ, there would never be a time when God’s people would be alone and without Him. No matter what your situation today, God is with you and Jesus came to make that a reality. This is no small thing. The creator who had been rejected by His creation would come as one of the created and dwell among us so that we could once again know the creator.

Many of us lament the state of the world today. Or our personal circumstances. But the theologian Carl Henry made the astute observation that “the early church didn’t say, ‘Look what the world is coming to!’ They said, ‘Look what has come into the world.’” The coming of Immanuel changed everything. Now God was with us. He chose to become one of us. And at his ascension, He left Himself behind to live within us in the form of the Holy Spirit. You are not alone! We are not alone!

John put it this way in his Gospel. “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of Grace and truth” (John 1:14). Grace to meet us in our individual brokenness and truth to lead us to a new life in Christ. No two words better describe the One who is with us: Immanuel.

I would encourage you to make this Advent season the season of Immanuel: God with us. Whatever your situation and whatever your challenges today you are not alone. He is with you. He is Immanuel.

Father, thank you for sending one to be with me. Thank you that He came full of grace and truth. Remind me often this December that behind the lights, trees, gifts, and parties is the God of the universe who came to be with us. Amen.

  • Dec 01, 2022
  • Category: News
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