One of my fondest memories growing up was riding in the car to and from my Little League baseball games. At the time, we were living in Florida, so we played year-round. The rides back and forth with my dad and brother were far better than the games themselves. (I was a TERRIBLE baseball player.) We would listen to music on the way there and when it was over, we would stop for a soda at a little country store on the way home. I’ve come to realize the reason I loved that time so much was because my father was with us. It was something about him just being there that seemed to make the struggles of the game worth it.
Over 2,000 years ago, God the Father sent his Son, Jesus to be with us, to redeem us. It was a promise that he had made to his people many centuries earlier. By sending his Son, he was also letting his people know that he wasn’t going to leave them by themselves to go through this difficult journey called life. In Hebrew, Immanuel means “God with us.”
No matter what we encounter in our lives, God has promised not to leave us alone. So many of us have struggled these past two years. Isolating from each other has taken a heavy toll on our souls. But Advent is a time to remember the hope that we have—the God who is with us. Our Immanuel.