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.
MATTHEW 1: 22-25
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
In what way were Joseph’s circumstances the fulfillment of a prophecy made seven centuries earlier?
The name Immanuel means that God is with us. What would change if the meaning of Jesus’ name was “God is beyond us?” Or, “God is against us?” Or, “God is within us?”
Try finishing this sentence several ways, “Because God is with us in Jesus. . . .”
PRAY THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Begin with the Jesus Prayer. Pray it reflectively several times, for yourself or on behalf of another.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Then pray the day’s prayer slowly and repeatedly for at least a minute (that’s about seven times). Allow the prayer to take you into the meaning of the day’s facet of Jesus’ name. Pray it for yourself and/or on behalf of another. Take your time and trust this process!
Lord Jesus Christ, God in flesh, who simply would not be without us,
draw near to me today.
LIVE INTO THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
He has granted to us his precious and very great promises,
so that through them you might become partakers of his divine nature . . .
For this very reason, supplement your faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love (2 Peter 1: 4-7).
2 PETER 1: 3-8
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This passage contains the fuller context of the verses we pray every day in this section. According to Peter, for what purpose has God given us his precious and great promises?
Based on God’s gift in Christ of “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” what are we to do now, according to this passage?
Which one of this list of qualities would you like to focus on doing today?
Several days this week, we will close using the ancient Latin prayers called the “O Antiphons.” An antiphon is a type of short prayer used in worship. They each begin with “O” and they each speak of one of the prophecies about Jesus in Isaiah. The first paragraph below is the O Antiphon literally translated to English. The second is the way the O Antiphon was set to music in the Advent carol, “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” if you wish to sing your prayers!
O Immanuel, our King and lawgiver
Expected of the nations, and their Savior,
Come to save us, O Lord our God!
O come, O come, Immanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O Come, O Come, Immanuel.
Ancient Latin prayer, trans.
John Mason Neale. 1851.