GOD IS WITH YOU - December 10, 2022
Saturday, December 10th
Advent Devotional #14 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
GOD IS WITH YOU
To read today: Matthew 1:22-25
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
The moody melody of the Christmas song still sung today, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” traces its roots all the way back to the eighth century. In 1861, a man by the name of John Mason Neale discovered the ancient Latin song and translated it into English. The melody hasn’t changed all these years later, though the words have been tweaked and updated through the centuries.
If you’ve ever sung the song in a church during the Christmas season, you are automatically transported back hundreds of years by its rich yet haunting melody. It’s one of the more popular Christmas carols and portrays a sense of melancholy, of longing. Yet, the mournful tune is in direct contrast to the joyful words of the chorus. The contrast conveys eager anticipation in the heaviness of life for the coming of the Redeemer at that first Christmas. In Advent, we anticipate with both real joy and deep agony what, for centuries, God’s people longed for, the coming of the Messiah, the Savior.
“Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee, O Israel.”
How do you pen such joyful words to such a mournful tune? Music so often expresses what we cannot.
As we long for and anticipate Christmas, we long for the reminder that Jesus is our Emmanuel. Emmanuel means “God with us.” The ancient Christmas carol says, “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” In Jesus, God is with us!
Christmas can be a time of joy and celebration, but some years it’s not. Some years, it’s tears and sorrow so deep that you can’t smile. You don’t feel like you can celebrate. That’s okay. There will be other years to celebrate; there will be a time when it won’t hurt so badly. There will come a day when you can smile again when you can find joy in Christmas again.
Until then, know that Emmanuel (God with us) is there. The Mighty God is with you in your silent night. The Mighty God is with you in your sorrow; the Mighty God is with you in your heartbreak. God is with you whether you celebrate or cry this Christmas season. He knows your joy. He knows your pain. He knows what you’re going through. That’s why one of his names is “Emmanuel.” He knew we would need to be reminded that he was, and is, always with us!
Today: Whether you laugh or cry, whether you celebrate or reminisce, know that our Mighty God is with you. He will hold you close this Christmas season.