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Our Emmanuel


Photo Credit: Sarah Joyce

(By Rachel Joyce)


Into the darkness and into the night,

Into our sorrow and into our pain,

You came — Emmanuel, God with us.


We, living in the land of death’s black

shadow, had exchanged the glory

Of the immutable God, Father of Lights,

For our own petty pleasures,

Our own hollow gods.


The lies of the enemy in our ears

Had drowned out Your voice.

Hands clutching sin,

Hearts holding bitterness,

We had lost our way.


So, in compassion, the Lord of glory

Humbly came, divinity and humanity

Inextricably, eternally bound,

Light inextinguishable was wrapped

Gently, in swaddling clothes.


Resting in that dusty manger, Emmanuel,

Hope of the ages, joy of the world,

Had come so we, children of darkness,

Could become Your cherished

And beloved children of light.


Never again would we suffer alone.

You are with us, even in the darkest valley.

For us lawbreakers, You fulfilled

The Law’s righteous requirement

So we could possess Your righteousness.


Bethlehem’s baby became the Man

Of Sorrows, deeply grieved

By our suffering. Bearing our sin

And shame, You embraced the cross

To give us true life.


The light of Your presence is our home,

The nearness of Jesus comforts us in

Our sadness, strengthens us in

Our weakness, and fills our hearts

With wonder, joy, and peace.


Into the light and into the day,

Into Your presence and unto Yourself

You have brought us — Emmanuel, God with us.




Verses used:


“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2 ESV).


“And exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Romans 1:23, 25 ESV).


“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV).


“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven” ( Hebrews 1:3 NLT).


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5 NLT).


“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10b ESV).


“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).


“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5).


“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me” (Psalm 23:4 NLT).


“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3 NLT).


“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV).


“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NLT).


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