Emmanuel, Emmanuel

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His name is called Emmanuel.
God with us, revealed in us,
His name is called Emmanuel.”

The weekend after Thanksgiving we always put up our Christmas decorations, adorning our house with wreaths and ribbons and lights. Our Christmas tree has a tradition of being very FULL, weighed down with ornaments, often causing the branches to droop prematurely. This year my son, Grant, started to carefully hang the ornaments on the branches when he came to me and said, “Mom, I actually like the tree with fewer ornaments. I just picked my favorites and put them on the tree.” Grant’s appreciation of this simplicity has so much truth to teach us about Advent and speaks to the simplicity that we find in this hymn.

When I first read this hymn, I wondered if there was more. Is there another page of lyrics that I missed? Maybe this is just the refrain? But no, this hymn is 18 words. That’s it. It’s simple. It’s clear and to the point. It’s comforting. It’s filled with truth. And as I read these words, I was reminded of the significance of these simple words.

During Advent, we wait. We are waiting for God with us, for Jesus, the greatest gift. God with us is profound, it’s God’s ultimate sacrifice of love. I’m especially moved by the words “revealed in us.” We are called to be like Christ, in the waiting and in the hurry. When we are able to push aside the distractions and all of the extra stuff, we can more clearly focus on how God is revealed in us, thus transforming our lives and those around us. God wants us to be present. God wants us to focus on the hope, peace, joy and love that Jesus brings and reveals in us.

So this year as my mantle is missing its garland and my tree isn’t so heavy, I am reminded to focus on Emmanuel.

— Christina McCord

Question of the Day
How can you be more present and focused during Advent this year?