Emmanuel – God with Us

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation, a time of longing. It’s a time to look past the traditions and the nostalgia, to the core of it all: God sent His son as a baby to save us from sin and death. God sent His son to dwell among us and He called him Emmanuel – God with us.

Since the morning of Mikail’s death, we have found that any hope we have of getting up each morning and getting through the day and night lies in the hope that the baby in the manger brought with him. Healing can only come from God and His son. Because of his birth and subsequently his death on the cross and the grace we receive because of it, we make it through each day, one step at a time. Each day brings us one day, one step closer to glory in heaven. That’s not to say that we stop living and enjoying life in the here and now. Not at all. It just fills us with a hope we never understood to this degree, before January 23, 2015.

We are finding that grief is very much a part of the purpose of Christmas.  Christmas was the beginning of God’s amazing plan to destroy death.

But death will be destroyed forever.  
And the Lord God will wipe away every tear from every face. 
In the past, all of his people were sad, 
but God will take away that sadness from the earth. 
All of this will happen because the Lord said it would.
Isaiah 25:8 (ERV)

There are a few Christmas carols that really shout out this concept to me:


O Come O Come Emmanuel (vs 3)

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing (vs 3)

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sunof Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His Wings.

Now He lays His Glory by,
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
    Hark! the herald angels sing,
    “Glory to the New-born king!”
I think for years I’ve made Christmas about the traditions and the nostalgia; the perfect ‘Merry Christmas’. I’m learning that it is so much more. I always ‘knew’ and ‘believed’, but didn’t truly understand the depths of it. It’s like when we ‘hear’ someone but don’t truly ‘listen’. I am finding that in the grieving there is hope and that hope began in the manger with a baby. Jesus understands all of our heartache. He is ‘a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief.’ Isaiah 53:3. He is Emmanuel-God with us.

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