Sunday, December 02, 2018

First Sunday of Advent 2018 - What Child Is This?

LEFC Family Advent Readings: “What Child Is This?”
Matthew 1:18-25 :: December 2, 2018
Week #1: Immanuel

“Advent” means “coming.” Christmas is coming. Jesus has come and is coming again.

During this year’s Advent season, we will be answering the title question from the beloved Christmas carol “What Child Is This?” from the Gospel of Matthew.

What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

The Bible says that this little child on Mary’s lap was “Immanuel.”


Matthew tells the story in the first chapter of his gospel of how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” Joseph considered divorcing her quietly, but an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him to marry her instead and that she would give birth to Jesus.

And then Matthew tells us why all of this happened. It was a fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14, predicted by the prophet over 700 years before this moment.

[READ MATTHEW 1:22-25]

The name “Immanuel” literally means “God with us.” And that is literally what Jesus is. He is God the Son come in the flesh to be with us as one of us. This is the mystery of the incarnation, and it is the greatest news in all of the world.

God has not left us alone. He has not abandoned us even though we have sinned against Him. The Lord promised that a virgin would give birth, and she did! The Lord promised that He would be with us, and He is!

Haste, haste to bring Him laud and praise. Immanuel, the Son of Mary!