2023 Advent Devotional - Isaiah 7:14 (Day 5)

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 which means “God with Us”.

There is a legend that suggests that Martin Luther started the  German tradition of the lit Christmas Tree.  As it goes, Martin Luther was deep in thought one snowy winter night while walking home and he found himself in a forest of evergreen trees. The night sky was so beautiful with stars glowing on the icy branches that he hurried home to tell his family all about it.  The beauty was impossible to describe so he went out to the grove of trees and cut down an evergreen tree and took it into his home.  There, he wired candles on the branches and lit them so his family could share in the beauty.  While his family sat around the beautifully lit tree, he told them that the green branches represented their faith living and growing and the shining candles would tell of Jesus as the light of the world.

Whether the tradition of a lit Christmas tree is from Martin Luther or someone else, it tells a story of Jesus.  I love that  Isaiah 7:14 says  “the Lord Himself will give you a sign”.   What signs will you see this year that will tell you God is with you?  Among our Christmas decorations we will find Nativity sets, angels and stars. There will be the singing of Christmas carols and the Children’s Christmas Program telling the story of the birth of Jesus. They are all signs given to us.

Advent means the coming of Christ.  On Christmas Eve we have the opportunity to continue the tradition of going to Candle Light Services.  There we will see the Advent Wreath being lit and share in the hope, peace, joy and love this child brings.  When the Christ candle is lit, we too can see the sign that God Is with us and be reminded that Christ will come again. Why not invite family and friends to go with you to share in this tradition and experience the greatest gift of all, Immanuel?

Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving us signs that show us you are with us.  Amen

By Carla Vogel
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