“But you promised!”

I, sometimes, hear those words from my children or from the students I teach. Those words can be a reminder that I didn’t do something I said I would. Those words can also be an encouragement to keep up with my end of the deal.

It’s important to keeps those promises. Getting into a pattern of breaking promises leads to a problem of broken trust.

A huge promise is at the center of Advent, the season of waiting until Christ arrives at Christmas. God makes that promise in the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

That promise is made at a time when Israel is struggling. It’s a promise that the faithful hold onto for hundreds of years. It’s a promise thats fulfilled at the end of the journey to Advent.

The word, Immanuel, is very important in this promise. Immanuel means “God with us.” Something incredible is required for God to fulfill this promise. God must make himself present among us. It’s an act that literally moves heaven and earth.

The first step in Advent is recalling the promise. God made the promise to be with us and God will do everything it takes to make it happen.

Prayer: God, you have promised to be present among us and to walk with us. As we make this journey to Advent, help us to remember that it is a promise you made to each of us. Thank you for always keeping your promises. Amen.