Reflection: Characters of Christmas: Immanuel
In 735BC the kingdom of Judah was facing an attack from her neighbours, Israel and Syria. The young king Ahaz, who would be overthrown, was terrified. God promised salvation for Israel if Ahaz trusted him. God promised Ahaz a sign: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The boy’s name would be a reminder that God would be with Ahaz and his people.
In Bethlehem, 730 years later, another son was born. This child was the true Immanuel; it was more than a name. Paul reminds us that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
By his Spirit Jesus is always with us, whatever we do and wherever we go. Most importantly, he will be with us on the last Day. When we stand before our Lord and Judge, Jesus will speak for us and say, “I’ve paid the price for their sins”. Then Jesus who is Immanuel, will turn to us and say, “Today you’ll be with me in paradise.” God is with us now and forever!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the wonderful comfort that your Son, the Lord Jesus, by his Spirit, is with us always, to the very end of the age. Help me to live each day conscious of his presence. Amen.