O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

SCRIPTURE

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

DEVOTION

Dear friend, here we are in the run-up to another Christmas. At the beginning of this festive season, it is so good for us to reflect on the person of Jesus as revealed through the Christ Child. As we begin to prepare our hearts to celebrate and to worship Him, let us begin by looking at what it means that Jesus is “Emmanuel”.

In Scripture, the name “Emmanuel” first appears in Isaiah 7:14. The original meaning of the name is “God with us”, and it carries such power and such glory!

In Jesus, we see that the eternal, unchanging, all-powerful God of the universe clothed Himself with humanity so that He could be with us.

Dear friend, God came to dwell amongst us. He came to make His home with us. He drew near to us through Jesus in order to pursue intimacy and to restore connection with us. Isn’t that incredible?

However, the name “Emmanuel” also speaks of Jesus’ title – His role or job on earth. The classic hymn ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’, gloriously and poetically unearths more of what this looks like. Dear friend, as we go through this hymn, may I invite you to reflect on Emmanuel slowly and meditatively – the God who is with you.

REDEEMER
O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel
That into exile drear is gone,
Far from the face of God’s dear Son.

Once, we were lost; now, we are found. Once, we were captives; now, we are free. Once, we were far from God; now, we are close.

What Jesus did by coming to earth was to redeem us and to restore us from our exile from God, and to bring us back into loving relationship with Him.

Dear friend, can you remember what life was like before you were redeemed by Jesus? Can you remember what it felt like to be far from God? Spend some time in gratitude before God – for Jesus, for redeeming you, and for bringing you into an intimate relationship with Himself.

(Selah – Pause)

SAVIOUR
O come, thou Branch of Jesse! draw
The quarry from the lion’s claw;
From the dread caverns of the grace,
From nether hell, thy people save.

Jesus came to save us from the consequences of our sins – the consequences being darkness, death, and separation from God.

By His grace, dear friend, He has pulled us from the lion’s claw! No longer are we bound by sin, for He has forgiven us and freed us!

Is there anything you need to confess before God today? Approach Him boldly in repentance, allowing His Spirit to extend grace and peace and mercy to you.

(Selah – Pause)

HEALER
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.

Part of Jesus’ gift of salvation involves healing, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Dear friend, Jesus didn’t just come to save us from our sins but to heal all our wounds and to bind up our broken hearts.

Is there any area in which you need His healing touch today?

(Selah – Pause)

PROTECTOR
O come, thou Lord of David’s Key!
The royal door fling wide and free;
Safeguard for us the heavenward road,
And bar the way to death’s abode.

Rest assured, dear friend! Our Emmanuel has not only paved a way for us to spend eternity with Him, but He protects us as we walk heavenward!

How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is your safeguard and your protector?

(Selah – Pause)

LET US REJOICE!
How glorious is our Emmanuel, dear friend! All that is left for us to do is to rejoice!

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

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

In what way does Emmanuel, God with us, feel most precious to you today?

  • He is my Redeemer.
  • He is my Saviour.
  • He is my Healer.
  • He is my Protector.

PRAYER

O come, O come, Emmanuel.
O come and be with us.
O come and be with us who rejoice.
O come and be with us who mourn.
O come and be with us who need redeeming.
O come and be with us who need saving.
O come and be with us who need healing.
O come and be with us who need protecting.

I pray, O come and make Your glorious Presence so real to us today.

In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.

PRAYER POINTERS

Pray for someone you know is in need today. Pray for Emmanuel to be with them. Pray that they will become aware of His presence with them. Pray for His comfort, His peace, and His grace.

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