Just Be Held- Week of December 19, 2022
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive0 and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
ECME Devotion December 19, 2022
See series: ECME Devotions
God has always found a way to draw near to his people. Scripture shows us time and time again that God not only wants to reign over us, but he also wants to be close to us. When your whole life revolves around working with kids, it can be easy to forget that you also are a child, a child of God. He loves you as his own son or daughter, because that is exactly what you are to him—his beloved family. Therefore, we see him creating new ways to be “Immanuel”- God with us, just as a father longs to be with his children.
With Adam and Eve, God created a beautiful and perfect garden for his children to enjoy and for him to dwell among them. We see God provide for them and walk with them as his own dear children.
Even after we had fallen into sin, we watch as the Israelites wandered in the desert and God made plans for a tabernacle where the people could draw near to God and God’s glory could dwell among his people.
After the Israelites entered the promised land, God instructed Old Testament believers to make a temple where his children could worship him and God could bring atonement and grace to his people, dwelling among them as Immanuel.
Today, we know that God dwells in our hearts. He comes to us in Word and Sacrament. We worship him together with other believers—all of us, the sons and daughters of our Father in heaven where we know he is preparing yet another place for us to dwell with him perfectly and for eternity.
Here, in Isaiah, we hear of one of the most beautiful ways in which God chose to be “Immanuel”- God with us. Jesus, our Savior, came to earth to be born, live a perfect life, die for our sins, and be raised again. God with us—walking, talking, breathing and living on the same earth as us, experiencing every pain and hardship that we do so he could empathize with us in every way. What great love to leave a perfect home in heaven so God could draw near to us yet again.
You see, God loves you in the same way he loved that baby in Bethlehem that Mary wrapped in cloths and placed in the manger. Over and over again, God has proven this love as he constantly found ways to dwell with you. As Christmas approaches, find time to simply be held by your Father. He is here to save you and one day bring you home. He loves you as his own dear child and longs to be with you, your Immanuel.
Dear Heavenly and loving Father, help me designate time this Christmas season to sit in the love and peace you offer. Help me know and believe that you love me as your own dear child. Thank you for sending your Son, my brother, as Immanuel “God with us” to save me from my sin and one day take me home to heaven with you. Amen.