O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people,
come set us free, Lord our God.
Emmanuel means God is with us. For the ancient Israelites that presence would be in a savior who would come and set them free from oppression. For us, we are reminded that through Jesus we are shown what the gift of that presence means. It is good news for the poor, sight to the blind, liberty for captives and a time for recognizing God’s favor. It is the vision of a society freed from physical needs and spiritual confusion. It is the concept of a world in which we recognize that we are all one in the Source of Life “in whom we live and move and have our being.” It is a call to change, to be transformed and to live in freedom and peace.
O Come. O Come, Emmanuel!
What would set you free? How can you work toward this?
The Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way…
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.
Christmas has a deeper significance to followers of Jesus. It’s not all about the gifts underneath Christmas trees or the elaborate meals served in extravagantly decorated homes. Christmas is the season of Immanuel. We celebrate the good news that He is near, that He cares for us, and that He transforms lives. His presence was the greatest present God gave mankind. May we be present carriers of that presence!
Katherine J. Walden
The miracle is not to walk on water, but to walk with love on earth,
as if your feet are kissing the ground.
We must remember that our presence alone is a miracle.
We must learn to say ‘Yes’ to the miracles of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.