Immanuel Here, Immanuel Come

“The LORD God said to the serpent,.. ‘I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.’” Genesis 3:14-15

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“‘I will establish your offspring forever,
    and build your throne for all generations.”
Psalm 89:4

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

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
Matthew 1:23

Immanuel, God with us. Israel long looked forward to their long-expected Savior; God Himself was in their midst from the beginning as Author of the promise. His presence and promised presence were the hope of Israel through David’s royal line through the ages, and abide as the hope of every believer today. (2 Samuel 7:16)

“O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.”

On earth we are in lonely exile, removed from, yet surely destined for, our heavenly home. Jesus has come to earth and the cross to ransom His people and guarantee in our salvation that we will be with Him forever. For now we wait, we yearn, we live and work and serve, as resident aliens looking ahead to His return and our eternal dwelling place. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

“O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer,
Thy people by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.”

In the here and now of the human condition, gloomy clouds of painful toil, dissension, worry, poverty, illness, and death hang heavy. They blur our hope and shrink our vision. But Immanuel is with us presently, mighty to save. The Good Shepherd, walking beside to comfort and guide. The strong Savior, giving rest and help. Immanuel has come to us! (Psalm 23:1-4; Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:14-15)

“O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.”
~John Mason Neale (1851)

Immanuel is our constant companion, the advocate on our side. He is head of the church, building us up together to be His holy bride. For the nations, He reigns supreme over every leader, dictator, and king as King of kings, working righteously to accomplish His good eternal purposes. We can be unshaken in His presence now and to come. (Romans 8:31-34; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; Revelation 19:16)

What difference would it make to remember our divine paraclete in our moments and days? Will we invite hopeful cheer to fill our hearts and direct our minds? How will Immanuel cause us to plan and do differently? Speak differently? Spend differently? Love differently?

Rejoice! Immanuel has come and is in us, with us, for us!

Immanuel You are here. Immanuel, You are coming again. Dayspring on high, mingle my present hope and my longing in one joyful song to Your glory.

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