Immanuel: Part 2

18th December

Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a Son and they will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 1:23

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me I pray

When the prophet Isaiah spoke the words of prophecy (found in Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14), perhaps even he didn’t realise the fullness of what it meant. Yes, there would be liberty and freedom from the chains, yokes and burdens of slavery and persecution, but perhaps it looked different from what Isaiah, and even the people of Jesus’ time thought it to be. In fact, we now know, that this liberty and freedom was spiritual, physical, and emotional. Yet this freedom and liberty was so that God could be near us, love us and stay close to us forever, in-spite of our sinful actions and attitudes. It was by Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, that we can enjoy intimacy and closeness with God. The gap between us and God is no longer. The punishment for our sin has been paid. The chains and heavy yokes of oppression and slavery from the enemy have been shattered. We are free to live in a full, living and right relationship with Christ our Saviour. Although our dear Saviour was born as one of us in a lowly manger on that ‘not so silent night’, He was born not as a helpless child but as the King of kings, the Lord of lords and our God and Saviour, Immanuel, who is close to us. May we understand the fullness of the love of God for us this day,

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