This is the second in a 3-part series on Advent. The first one is HERE

Christmas is slowly creeping up on us and it’s now only 15 days away! I definitely feel like it has come around far too quickly and I’m sure a lot of us are starting to look into the final stages of preparations for the big day. But as well as looking back to those in the Old Testament who were waiting for the coming of Jesus, this time of year can also be spent reflecting and celebrating what is. One of the names for Jesus that we tend to use around Christmas time, is Immanuel, which means God with us and we first see this in Isaiah chapter 7 as the foretold name of Jesus;

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

As Christians it is important to remember that, although Jesus is no longer walking on the earth in human form, he is still with us and the name Immanuel, or God with us, is still very significant in today’s society, especially in the mess the world can find itself in.

God is with us!

When we look at the stories that have been in the news recently about racism, war, violence and injustice, it can be quite tough for some of us to keep trusting that God is with us in and amongst all of this. But we do all need to recognise the importance of continuing to remember that God has promised never to leave us in the difficult times in our lives and in the world today. Throughout the Bible God has shown that he keeps his promises and there are many times where he has promised that he will never leave his people. In Deuteronomy 31, God promises Joshua, through Moses that He will go before him and never leave him and the same words are also repeated in Hebrews 1:5 which really reinstates God’s promise of Immanuel, God with us.

One of my favourite quotes is by the famous author, C.S. Lewis, who said “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”

This is so true!

As humans we go through so many stages and feelings in our lives, but one thing we know that we can always count on is God always being there and his love for us, which, I don’t know about you, but I find incredible!

When I think of God with us, the first thing that will always come to mind is the amazing verse from Romans 8:31. This verse always strikes me and makes me think that although there may have been times when we have left God, he will never leave us. No matter how bad the position that you are in, or how horrible you may feel, God will never leave you! We can continue to move forward in our lives, as God promised Joshua, he goes before us. If God is for us, who can be against us?

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