Stories of Hope – December 23

12 23O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

In that “Emmanuel” literally means “God with us,” this most familiar verse of this Advent carol speaks an important truth that we often gloss over: God is with us in our captivity.

In Christ we see that God has come as one of us, knowing all of our trappings and our penchant for causing more death than life.  In Christ we see that God doesn’t just sympathize with humanity, but can empathize with humanity.

God knows, Beloved.

The God in Christ knows your hurts and pains, your joys and fervent desires.  God in Christ knows them because God in Christ has felt them.  This is the true wonder of Christmas: that God would decide to know us, truly know us, rather than just know of us.

So if you’re wondering if God knows, this last full day of Advent rest assured: God does.

  1. To what are you still captive? How do you see God calling you in Christ to freedom from this captivity?
  2. On this last day of Advent, give thanks for being known by the God we see in Christ. Call up someone you haven’t talked to in a while and remind them that you still think of them.

Let us pray. O Emmanuel, ruler and lawgiver, desire of the nations, savior of all people: Come and set us free, Lord our God.

All italicized quotes, poems, and prayers come from An Advent Sourcebook (Liturgy Training Publications/Chicago, IL, 1986).

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