Some of us can admit that we had an imaginary friend growing up, maybe even more than one. When I was in elementary school I had one of these special friends; her name was Molly. Molly was important to me because she was always by my side. She sat next to me while I ate lunch in the cafeteria and we always shared a seat together on the afternoons as I took the bus home from school. She was one of my closest friends, and knew exactly what I was thinking.
Unlike these imaginary friends, God is not imaginary. In fact, nothing and no one could be more real. From today’s passage, Immanuel simply means “God with us.” God Himself stepped off His throne in Heaven and left His glory to save us from our ultimate separation. Christ dwelt in our midst, establishing His Kingdom and teaching us how we are to walk as His followers; and after ascending back to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to us so that God would still be with us as we live our lives.
While this is something we should remember every day, the Advent season is a time that invites us to reflect on what that means. We should be joyful that there is a God who will never turn His back on His beloved children. We should have hope that there will soon be a day when we will fully be with Him in all of His glory. We should have peace that there will never be a struggle that we will ever have to face alone.
God is with us today and He won’t be leaving anytime soon. He won’t be leaving us ever.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, during this season of Advent, we thank You for sending Jesus Christ down to be with us and save us from our sins. Please continue to be with us as we celebrate this Advent season and reflect on who You are and why You came down from Heaven. Amen.
Hannah Stoops – 2013