Advent Daily Devotional: December 15
December 15 by Kent Epling
Reading: Matthew 1:22-23
"Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us.'"
One of my memories of Christmas growing up in Ohio was the way we would get our Christmas tree and decorate it. On Christmas Eve (that's right, our tree didn't go up until Christmas Eve!) we would travel across the river to a tree farm in West Virginia and cut down our tree. We would bring it home, secure it in a big bucket with gravel and some H2O, bring up the boxes of lights and ornaments from the basement, and place them at the base of the tree. That's what it looked like when I went to bed to dream of sugar plums in my head. Here's where the magic of Christmas seemed so real to me. That next morning I would see a tree now decorated amazingly (even with tinsel placed one piece at a time!!!), plus amazing big unwrapped presents (bicycles, guitars, cameras, etc. in six different places for each of us kids—don't you worry, I always knew which one was mine.!!!).
Now, I know the REAL magic of Christmas!! It's that a God who loves us so much would leave Heaven and come to earth to live among us, speak to us, and show us Himself—God with us!!!! Here's part of that magic that is one more proof of the love of a REAL God: A prophet, Isaiah, shared this amazing truth way before it happened! Some scholars argue that Isaiah couldn't have written all of the book of Isaiah because they say he talked of things that didn't happen until years after he was gone. Isn't the Holy Spirit amazing!?!? I love that!!! God had a plan and it began with Christmas, the birth of a Savior, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us!! And, He, God, inspired a prophet through the Holy Spirit to let us know before it came to pass!!
So as you and I celebrate this awesome time with our families and friends, may we remember the truth at God—the REAL God—sent His Son because He love the world so much!!! And we have a REAL story to tell of how Emmanuel has come, and He still speaks today and still shows Himself; so that all would have the chance to respond to this Great News!!!