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Sunday, December 17

Week Three - God With Us - Isaiah 7:10-14; Matthew 1:18-23

[REFLECTION]

In Isaiah 7 we see that during the reign of King Ahaz, God’s people faced a severe threat from their enemies. Surrounded by armies much larger and stronger, cut off from water and other provisions, the future looked bleak. It seemed like there was no way out, no hope for survival. The people were terrified. Overwhelmed. Distraught. The king considered seeking help from a source other than God. But God had other plans. Though the people weren’t choosing to draw near to God, God would be near to them. Speaking through the prophet, God delivered a powerful word of promise, comfort and hope…

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

Immanuel. God with us…

In the Gospel of Matthew God’s people were once again living in threatening and oppressive circumstances, this time under Roman rule. It had been over 400 years since they had heard a prophetic message from God. The people were discouraged and afraid, yet they held onto the promise given through Isaiah so many years before. They waited in hopeful expectation for the savior God would send. And then one day an angel appeared in a dream and spoke these amazing and wonderful words…

…do not be afraid…

…the virgin will bring forth a Son…a Savior…Jesus

…Isaiah’s prophecy is being fulfilled…

Immanuel…God with us…

Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. In Jesus, God came in human form and lived among us. Jesus now lives in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to be afraid. We are never alone. Regardless of the challenges we face, we can trust the timeless promise of God’s presence in our lives.

[STARTER PRAYER]

God thank you for your promise to always be with us. Thank you for sending your Son to live with us and in us and through us. When I feel alone or afraid, help me to remember you are near. When life’s trials and temptations seem overwhelming, help me to draw near to you. When I face the unknown, help me to rest in your presence. Amen.​