Advent Devotional

Day 18

Advent Winterscape
By Erik Segalini | December 18

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

A taxi driver angrily honked his horn and swerved past the stalled truck. Darryl, a homeless man in New York City, barely noticed the distraction in “his living room.” He looked at my friend and me, who had been talking with him about the gospel for the last 20 minutes, and said, “Until you live on the streets for at least one month, how can you relate to me?”

Darryl was right. I could not relate. But God can.

Hebrews 4:15,16 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

At Christmas, we worship God’s gift to us, and He came gift wrapped in humanity. The prophet Isaiah said he would be called Emmanuel, which means “God with us.”

Usually we toss aside the wrapping in which a gift comes. The gift is more important to us than the paper it came wrapped in. But one year my sister sent me a shirt for my birthday wrapped in gift paper covered with pictures of dogs on it. I know Nina went out of her way to find that paper for me, and I hung a clipping of it on my office wall. This time, the wrapping was more than decoration; it was part of the gift.

Jesus was born in a manger, lived on this earth, even died here. God with us. His humanity is a significant part of God’s gift.

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