‘O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations, and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God’.

Some words from Isaiah: ‘Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel’.

The Christmas hymn ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ ends with these words: ‘O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel’. The name means, ‘God with us’. May we indeed know Him truly ‘with us’ – in our world, and in our hearts, for peace, love and joy, and may you be richly blessed this day.