Advent 2019 – Day 1

Every year for over thirty years, our family has celebrated Advent with a series of 24 devotionals on a particular theme. Each year a new theme is chosen and this year is no different. So, without further adieu, the theme for 2019 is [drum roll, please] “Immanuel.”

Almost a thousand years before the birth of Christ, God promised Isaiah that a virgin would conceive a child and that child’s name would be “Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14). And when Mary gave birth to Jesus, the gospel of Matthew (1:23) pointed back to that prophecy and declared it fulfilled at last. “O come, O come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel” is one of the oldest Christmas carols, though in truth it is an Advent carol. God’s people looked forward to the coming of Immanuel, the time when “God would dwell with us.”

What does it mean for God to be with us? Come back tomorrow and each of the next 23 days and see what we learn about God’s amazing desire to be near His people. In the meantime, why not dig out a hymnal or Google the carol mentioned above and review the words? If you play an instrument, listen to this haunting chant that monks first sang in Latin during the 9th century. Contrast the mournful tune of the verses with the chorus, “Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come!”

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