Today’s devotional is by Alison Kernohan.
"‘Immanuel’, written by Michael Card, is packed with powerful reminders of biblical truth that can challenge, comfort and encourage us.
It begins with the prophecy that we read in Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Throughout the song we are reminded, “Immanuel, Our God is with us, and if God is with us, who could stand against us”, which are words found in Romans 8:31. If we pause and fully absorb the meaning of what we are singing, it gives great comfort to know that - if we have accepted God as our Lord and Saviour - God is with us, He is on our side, no matter what we face or who we come up against.
Notably, this carol provides great words of comfort throughout. The lines, “For all those who live in the shadow of death, for all those who stumble in the darkness” are answered with the hope that “a glorious light has dawned” and “behold, your light has come”. Jesus is the light of the world and He shines for people in the darkest and toughest of places.
The final verse of this song presents a clear challenge;
“So, what will be your answer?
Will you hear the call?”
These are questions that should cause us to search our hearts in the light of the truth ‘of Him who did not spare His son, but gave Him for us all’ (Romans 8:32). We are all responsible before God for our answer and our response to His forgiveness of sin freely offered in Christ.
Romans 8 also features in the closing lines of the last verse, when we sing, “on earth there is no power; there is no depth or height, could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ”. This is an amazing comfort and reminder that whatever we face, it will not cause us to be separated from God. Even the lowest depth of life on earth, which is death, will not cause us to be separated, because it has been conquered by Jesus’ death on the cross."
As you sing or listen to ‘Immanuel’ this Christmas, I hope that you will absorb the words and let them bring comfort and hope to your life. Let’s live every day, in every season, with the hope, certainty and comfort that we can know Immanuel – ‘God with us’."