I think we have become a little blasé about this text. Most of us have heard about this ‘Immanuel God’ since we were little children.
We don’t realise how unusual this would have seemed to the Jews of the time. They lived in the time of God’s silence. Bible researchers tell us that, between Malachi and Matthew, four hundred years passed in the Holy Land, for which we have no prophetic record.
God was far away. The messages of the prophets had become stale. The waiting has been too long. Maybe many of them no longer believed in the truth of the prophets.
And then God speaks again. He not only speaks; He becomes human, one of us, the God with us and He comes to portray love.
And everything changes.
More than 2000 years later, God sometimes also seems far away. The message of the prophets has become ‘old news’. We have also become weary of waiting, and doubt the words of the prophets.
Advent reminds us again that the distant God has come beside us and that we have become His representative in a world crying out for His voice.
Once again John van de Laar captures this in a prayer:
Love In Action
To think about: Where can you discover Immanuel again this Advent season, and where can this discovery compel you to be a ‘little incarnation’.