2019 Advent Devotional – Day 13


Matthew 1:22-23Jesus is titled Emmanuel

All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.

Salvation - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

Out of all the names and titles Jesus is given throughout the Gospels, the title Emmanuel—God is with us—is perhaps the most personal and intimate. This name emphasizes the promise God made—and kept—throughout the Old Testament (for example to Moses, Jacob and Noah). And it anticipates the promise Jesus will go on to make in his life to be with us.

‘God is with us’ is also a promise for all of our days. From the times of delight and joy, when praise and gratitude come easily to our hearts, through to the periods of sadness and pain, when we cry out for comfort, God is present in our lives. 

Perhaps most importantly, Emmanuel—God is with us—is God’s promise to be with us in our moments of doubt and despair; when we can’t see how our circumstances improve or imagine an end to the turmoil we are suffering—when we even wonder if God is there at all. 

Emmanuel is God’s promise that God is indeed there, with us always, carrying us forward and holding us close.

Ever-present God,
Be with me today. Be present in my happiness and excitement, as much as in my grief and disappointment. Stay close to me as I journey in this day and guide me. Help me recognize your presence in my life, that I may always have the hope of your love and compassion. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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