Monday, December 3, 2018

O Come, Emmanuel


[Photo of of a family at Christmas]

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive
and bear a son, and they shall call
his name Emmanuel

(which means: God with us).
—Matthew 1:23

Like the happy family in the photograph above, why do so many people love having a dog? Most of all, I think they love the companionship. Life can often seem like a lonely venture. Children, around whom life has centered, go off to college leaving an “empty nest.” Parents, siblings, and friends, who were once always there, move away, or die, and leave a large hole in our lives.

God purposefully sent His Son, Jesus, to us. He did so for many reasons. But, one of those reasons was to fill a void in our lives that only He could fill.

One of the many special names that God gave Jesus was the name “Emmanuel.” God chose to give this unique name to specifically remind us that, in and through His Son, God is with us.

In other Scriptures (Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 94:14, and Hebrews 13:5), we hear that those who have come to know Jesus as Emmanuel have a God who will never leave us or forsake us.

Many at this time of year greatly miss the people who once filled their lives. It is very good that they can know the One who will never leave them. As followers of the Great King Jesus, God has given Him to us as our personal “God with Us.”

Here’s how Michael Card puts it:2

Incredible… are the times we know He is with us in the midst of our daily, routine lives. In the middle of cleaning the house or driving somewhere in the pick-up, He stops us… in our tracks and makes His presence known. Often it’s in the middle of the most mundane task that He lets us know He is there with us. We realize, then, that there can be no “ordinary” moments for people who live their lives with Jesus.

From the very beginning of Jesus’ life, God wanted us to know that He had been sent to be our constant, loving, ever-present, and ever-faithful companion. Knowing that God had this plan for us, we should sing anew this season and cry out in supplication as Israel once did:2

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!


1 Card, Michael. Immanuel. Cited in Lucado, Max. The Devotional Bible. Nashville, TN:Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2003. Pp.1231-1232.
2 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Latin hymn from 12th century Latin Antiphons, Public Domain.