Devotions By Jan

O Come O Come Emmanuel

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Scripture for Today: Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us.’)

This carol is sung to a slow majestic tune sounding like a Gregorian chant.  No one knows its author but it is thought to be written in Latin by a monk sometime before 800AD.  The text is replete with Old Testament prophesies regarding the Messiah.  The words are deep and meaningful as in, “O come, o come thou Dayspring bright! Pour on our souls thy healing light. Dispel the long night’s lingering gloom and pierce the shadows of the tomb.”

Our verse for today comes from the words spoken by an angel to Joseph in a dream.  After realizing Mary was pregnant he was contemplating divorcing Mary quietly.  The angel explained that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and he was not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.  Not only was he to name the baby Jesus, but people would refer to Him as Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”  This would fulfill a prophesy spoken many years before by Isaiah.

God with us.  Have I heard the Christmas story so often that I have lost the meaning somewhere?  What a pivotal moment in history this was, that God would humble Himself and enter our world as a baby!  At that instant, everything changed.  He lowered Himself into our messy world to redeem us.  He brought light and life to a hopeless hurting world.  And He did it out of love for each of us!

There are many sweet and good traditions surrounding Christmas.  They can create warm feelings and special family times.  But the real wonder and delight is that this baby is God with us!

Thank you Lord, for being with me today.

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