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Advent: Light With Us: Immanuel

December 19, 2020 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – Matthew 1:20 (RVR1977) 

“José, son of David, do not be afraid to take María as your wife; for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call him Jesús.”

Focus

The angel assured Joseph of God’s presence with María. God is with her. And she will bear our liberator who will assure us that God is with us, too, Joseph. Dios está con nosotros.  Don’t be afraid to stay, Joseph. His name is Immanuel, which literally means “with us is God.” It only appears twice in the Hebrew scriptures and once in the New Testament. This is an affirmation of presence. Not hopes to be, not begging to be, God IS with us. God inhabits the world you live in, even and especially when you don’t see him, like Joseph.

Devotion

I’ve been impatient with Joseph in the past. Why did he not believe María? But Inés, have you ever known a virgin that has conceived a child? Joseph was probably torn, confused, disoriented, heartbroken & perhaps feeling betrayed. He tried to leave quietly.

A nativity setBut the angel wasn’t quiet a third time. The angel assured him of God’s presence with María. God is with her. And she will bear our liberator that will assure us that God is with us, too, Joseph. Dios está con nosotros.  Don’t be afraid to stay, Joseph.

His name is Immanuel, which literally means “with us is God”. It only appears twice in the Hebrew scriptures and once in the New Testament.

GOD: The same God that spoke the world into being, spoke her womb into being. God lives outside of Jerusalem & can no longer be contained by walls in the holy of holies. Now the Holy One inhabits the womb of a lowly prophetess who will preach songs of liberation.

IS: This is an affirmation of presence. Not hopes to be, not begging to be, God IS with us. God inhabits the world you live in, even & especially when you don’t see him, like Joseph.

WITH: From cover to cover, from Hagar to Joshua, from Rahab to Ruth, from Moses to Miriam. There is evidence of with-ness.

US: The face of God comes into clearest focus in the face of Jesús. And the face of Jesús comes into clearest focus in the face of us. There’s also an us-ness to God’s with-ness. To see each other is to see the face of God.

Beloved, may the same Spirit that spoke the world & a young prophetess’ womb into being, speak an Immanuel moment in your being this week. You are loved.

Reflect

Where in your life do you need to see Immanuel? Is there a relationship or a circumstance where you need God’s nearness?

Act

Ask some people this week: Where have you seen the light of God’s presence this week? Who reflected the light of God’s face to you this week?

Pray

Jesus, remind us that you are with us. When we are alone, remind us that you are close and draw near. Be Immanuel. When we are surrounded by people, and yet still feel alone, remind us that you are close and draw near. Be Immanuel. In our aches, in our longings, may we thirst to see your face and hear your voice. Open our eyes to see you in our sister, in our brother, in the stranger. In our laughter, in our joy, in someone else’s humor, open our eyes to see you there. In the interruptions, in the disruptions, in the failed attempts at our long-list days, open our eyes to see you there. At the end of the day, grant us the grace of “good enough” to remind us that we are enough and we did enough. Be Immanuel there, as well. Amen.


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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Commentary on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 1-2)


One thought on “Advent: Light With Us: Immanuel

  1. Margie Tomlinson says:

    Ines Thank you so much. This is beautiful I will share it with
    my Sunday School adult class. Blessing and Joy
    Margie

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