Advent Devotionals // WEEK 2

5 // DECEMBER 2021

Nothing is more important than God’s presence. The story of the Bible is God trying to re-establish his presence among sinful people. Without Immanuel, the presence of God among us, all is lost—we are lost. Take some time to reflect on the importance of God’s presence in your life.

6 // DECEMBER 2021

The punishment for Israel’s unfaithfulness was exile—being taken from God’s presence. In exile, the nation longed for Immanuel, a return to God’s presence. The prophet Ezekiel reminded the people of God’s plan to restore his presence to them. Using a picture of a city to which the nation would return, Ezekiel pronounced, “And the name of the city… will be: YAHWEH IS THERE.” (Ezekiel 48:35) How would your life be different if you lived in a place full of God’s presence?

7 // DECEMBER 2021

Mary and Joseph were part of the long line of Jewish people waiting for God to show up and rescue them from both the oppression of foreign powers and their own sinfulness. Now, an angel tells them Mary is carrying a baby who is to be called “Jesus” (Yahweh saves) and “Immanuel” (God with us). What do you think Joseph and Mary thought when they heard what their baby would be called?

8 // DECEMBER 2021

It’s one thing for God to show up in our midst; it’s quite another for him to do so as one of us. Yet, that is what he did. We call this “the Incarnation”—God, in the person of Jesus, taking on human flesh and nature. The promise of Immanuel wraps itself in human form. How does God coming to us as one of us shape how you think about God?

9 // DECEMBER 2021

The witness of the millennia of human existence is that we have no hope on our own. We can’t fix death, sickness, injustice, violence, or sin of any kind. We try and try… and we fail and fail. But God’s presencebrings hope. Immanuel is the answer to all life’s problems. What hope does Immanuel give you?

10 // DECEMBER 2021

Immanuel was a sign of deliverance. Isaiah 7 tells of enemies plotting to destroy Judah. God promised them a deliverer.As a sign of his promise to them, a son would be born who would be called Immanuel. How fitting it is that a son born to Mary, who would deliver people from the enemies of sin, death, and evil, would also be called Immanuel. The birth of Jesus is a sign of God’s deliverance. Spend some time thanking God for rescuing you.

11 // DECEMBER 2021

Someone who doesn’t keep promises can’t be trusted. God promised that his presence would come to us and rescue this world from it’s broken, fallen condition. Immanuel fulfilled that promise. God can be trusted. When life is hard and you wonder if you can trust God with your problems, you need to remember “Immanuel.”