Date: December 5, 2021
Session: God With Us
The Point: Jesus is Immanuel—God with us.
Get Into the Study
Use the following story as an alternate introduction to this session.
As the world slowly and awkwardly shifts back to “in-person” life, after months and months of Zoom, Facetime, texting, and phone calls, there is a new phrase in our midst: room fatigue. Psychology Today contributor Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee writes:
“As we try to restart embodied lives outside of the confines of our home we’re facing a new set of challenges: call it ‘room fatigue.’ A year of practicing social distancing and moving our lives online has atrophied our real-world conversation and interpersonal skills….[and] we’ve lacked the kind of novelty and experiences in our day-to-day lives that offer us subject matter with which to engage others. We’ve mastered Zoom etiquette at the expense of our real-world social agility.”
While it can be awkward and truly fatiguing at first, living “embodied lives” and being in the physical presence of others is still the healthiest and fullest way to be together! Jesus knew this to be true when He chose to physically come down and live an embodied life among us. He could have made a proclamation from Heaven or sent messenger after messenger, but the only true way to reach humanity, He knew, was to come down and live amongst us. To look people in the eye, to touch those who needed healing, to eat with others. To live an embodied life, fully human, fully God. I wonder if He found himself fatigued from living life amongst us at times!
Christ chose to give up His comfortable heavenly dwelling in order to be with us. What a sacrifice and what a gift He gave to us by making this choice.
Ashley Emmert is a freelance writer and full-time mama from Chicago, where she lives with her husband and two busy little boys.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult (p. 17) and KJV Adult (p. 17) Leader Guides]
In advance, play the song “God with Us” by All Sons & Daughters to set the tone for this unit and reinforce “The Point.”
Use the following as you conclude today’s session.
A New York man is suing 7-Eleven over misleading packaging. Oscar Ithier claims 7-Eleven has been overcharging for their “wasabi” snack mix, since the snack mix doesn’t contain any actual wasabi in the ingredients list. Ithier is represented by New York lawyer, Spencer Sheehan, who has filed dozens of lawsuits against companies for using the label “vanilla” on food products that do not contain any vanilla bean. Sheehan currently has another lawsuit against Kellogg Co., claiming their Strawberry Pop-Tarts don’t have enough strawberries.
You may not be expecting a full serving of fruit when you grab a Pop-Tart on your way out the door. Nonetheless, these lawsuits point to an underlying issue of companies claiming one thing, but then providing something else, or using a reproduction to stand in for the actual food.
When it comes to God’s promises, though, we don’t have to adjust our expectations. God always fulfills His promises. God promised, through Isaiah, that He Himself would be with us. And through Jesus, God completely fulfilled this promise. Jesus came to earth in the flesh, not as a replica of God, or a stand-in for God. Jesus is God Himself with us.
How will knowledge of this truth impact your life this week? Choose one of the Live It Out applications.
Nikki Wilbanks grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- What are some predictions you’re glad haven’t come true?
- What are some of your favorite things about the Christmas season?
- When has someone really blessed you by keeping a promise?
- How does this prophecy provide comfort and encouragement to believers?
- What resonates with you when you read the meaning of the name “Immanuel”?
- What do these verses reveal about God’s character?
- What does Jesus’ miraculous birth reveal about Him and the gospel?
- What are some ways God has made the impossible possible in your life?
- What do you appreciate about Joseph at this point in the narrative?
- What are some obstacles to believing in the fulfillment of this prophecy?
- What do you appreciate about the way God dealt with Mary and Joseph in this passage?
- How can knowing that God is with us help us to overcome fear?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – God With Us