“She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:21-23)
“O holy night. The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”
Every year, when I help my mom decorate the Christmas tree, this is the first carol playing through the speakers.
As a child, I loved the melody and the story. Now, I also appreciate the profound words that point to the heart of Christmas. “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
These words tell us of our need for a Savior.
When our creative God set the universe into motion, the Bible says, it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Humanity was the pinnacle of God’s creation, made in His image to reflect Him. We were made to flourish. But Adam and Eve’s rebellion in Genesis 3 broke our relationship with God, and evil entered our world. Sin is now a part of our nature. I see the sin in my own actions and in our world. We died spiritually that day in the garden, and we need God’s intervention to bring us back to life. “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new glorious morn.” But in the same chapter, in Genesis 3:15, God’s promises of redemption and restoration begin.
Even as Adam and Eve turned from Him, He responded in love and hope. And this restoration will be a gift to us, not anything we can earn. Jesus, our promised hope from God, suffered and died so we might have a restored relationship with God and be made whole. Now we long for the day when the hurting world will be healed by the Messiah who was born in a manger. Let the weary world rejoice.
Pray and Reflect
Where do you need God to intervene in your life right now?
Where do you need the hope God offers?
What hope can Immanuel, “God with us,” give you for the future?
Pray and ask God to give you that hope today.
(written by Rachel Geckle)