God with Us
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 7:14, Hebrews 1:1-3, Matthew 1:22-23, John 10:31–39, John 14:8–11, 1 John 4:9-10
In the film August Rush, Wizard (an Oliver Twist’s Fagin type played by Robin Williams) asks street musician prodigy, August, what he most wants to be in the world. Assuming the boy will name some famous legend, he is surprised when, instead, August answers with this:
Out of everything he could be in the world, this frenzy-haired orphan boy just wanted to be with his parents. He wanted to be found.
I’m sure we all connect with this in some way. You may feel isolated within your community. Or like you’re in professional limbo and just want the right person to “discover” you. Maybe you’ve never had someone by your side during Advent, and you feel the ache of loneliness—an ache that all the steaming wassail and woolen scarves in the world cannot comfort. The good news is this ache of loneliness is the very thing Advent answers. During these times of waiting, we can find a unique intimacy with God that comes from feeling our lack. The even better news is that Advent—a season full of longing—ends in the birth of the God who is with us.
Our hero verse for today is a great comfort. We’re told “the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23). His nearness is in this very name!
Throughout Scripture, we’re given a picture of God drawing close to His people. In the Old Testament, He reveals Himself through pillars of smoke and fire, and speaks through prophets and angels. In the New Testament, He meets us through His incarnate Son—truth enfleshed—and He places His Spirit inside us. In sending His Son, our good Father gave us the chance to meet “God with skin on,” leaving us without question of His desire to know and be known by us.
We all long to be found, like the lonely street musician on the corner. Thanks be to God, He found us. He wants to heal and awaken our hearts because of His great love for us (1 John 4:10). Let’s go out of our way to embrace this time of longing because, strange as it may seem, it’s better to ache and draw close to Jesus than to feel an illusion of satisfaction and far from Him. Hallelujah! Immanuel, God is with us.
Bailey Gillespie is a California native who moved to Nashville to pursue a new adventure. She has an M.A. in Professional Writing and worked in higher education before joining the editorial team at She Reads Truth. She’s passionate about hospitality and loves cooking while listening to a good playlist. You can follow her on Instagram @Bailey_bluebird.