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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”

The Christmas season has come and gone. We take down the ornaments and lights. We clean out all of the bulletins from the Christmas programs from our cars and with a tinge of guilt put them in the trash. The season has come and gone, things return to a midwinter normal. We stop, we pause and we wonder what are we left with?

We so faithfully celebrate the gift of God on Christmas, yet we struggle the other 364 days to figure out what this gift means/does in our lives.

The gift of Christ that we celebrate on Christmas day is the gift of salvation and restoration - God becoming man, restoring what sin destroyed. Yet this gift is so much deeper than we often realize. For another part of the gift, the part we carry with us the other 364 days of the year is His presence.

In John 16:7, much to the disciples dismay Jesus says the following: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

I am sure they had no idea what He meant by that, I struggle to figure out what He means by that.

The Greek word Helper here is “paraklētos” it means: called to one’s aide, advocate, lawyer, intercessor, helper. It is actually really similar to the Hebrew word “`ezer” found in Genesis 2:18 “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper {‘ezer} fit for him.”

There is a lot you could unpack from that, but what it helps me to see is that this gift of Immanuel, God with us, is far more intimate and practical than I often realize or in all honesty, want to realize.

God’s gift of Immanuel is not only one of restoration found in Christ but also of His presence found in His Spirit.

A few years ago I was reading Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” and the realization of the depth of God’s presence in my life shook me.

If you stop and look at this verse, not only are we given purpose, but we are also granted presence. The works that Jesus has created us for, He has also prepared. Let the depth of that sink in.

From this moment, and every moment forward, God has been working. He is\has been there, working and preparing. What we are called to do is walk in the way that He has prepared, to choose His presence, His truth, His grace, His help, and not our own self directed efforts.

So although we celebrate the gift of God on Christmas, we unpack the presence of Immanuel during the other 364 days, seeking to continually walk in the paths He our “parakletos” our helper, has prepared beforehand.


Good Shepherd, may You guide us and lead us. May You help us to choose your works over our own efforts. May You draw us close to You and help us to dwell in you.

Next Steps:

As you start each day, how can you position/ready yourself to see the works of God in which you are to follow?

How have you seen the evidence of God already having been at work in your life and the lives of those around you?