Advent Devotion for December 23

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord, the anointed for the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Reading: Matthew 1:18–23

The God who thundered from Sinai’s peak sheds tears in the manger of Bethlehem. Yahweh, who had wrapped Himself in a pillar of smoke, is now wrapped in human flesh. No longer is His Word simply etched on stone tablets, but is inseparably bound to this flesh. God has made His dwelling among us, not between golden cherubim but in the embrace of His virgin mother and her husband.

Prayer: O Immanuel, You draw near in Word and Sacrament to make Your dwelling among us. Grant us faithful hearts as we tarry in this life, that on the day of Your return You may find in us a mansion prepared for You; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hymn LSB 357:1

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

(Timothy Sheridan, Sem IV)