O Come, Emmanuel
During Advent, we sing some remarkable songs that have been sung by the church for hundreds of years. These songs help us to live in the tension of the already and the not yet: that, although Christ has already won the war against sin and death, we are still waiting for Him to come back and destroy the enemy once and for all. One such hymn, O Come O Come Emmanuel, beautifully captures this tension. Stemming back nearly 1200 years, originally written in Latin and sung/chanted in monasteries, it wasn’t until the 19th century that it was put to the melody that we know today and translated to English by John Mason Neale. The beauty of this song in particular is that, at the beginning of each stanza we yearn for the Incarnate God to come, and yet in the refrain we rejoice in hope knowing that God follows through on His promise of Emmanuel. This week, if nothing else, I wanted to point you to this wonderful hymn as a way to meditate on God’s faithfulness.
O Come Emmanuel (Isa. 8:8, Matt. 1:23) – Jesus is God with us. The eternal, infinite God confined Himself to a womb in order to dwell among His people, and to pay the ransom that only the God-man could pay.
O Come Rod of Jesse (Isa. 11:1, Rev. 22:16) – Jesus is the descendent of David that brings life to what was formerly lifeless. The dead stump of Israel would go on to produce fruit once again through the new and better David, come to rule His people in righteousness and justice.
O Come Dayspring (Luke 1:78, John 8:12) – Jesus is the light of the world. He causes the sun to shine on the darkness and hopelessness in the world, bringing His glorious Kingdom to Earth. He is a sunrise, descending from on high, just as Zechariah prophesied.
O Come Thou Key of David (Isaiah 22:22, John 14:6) – Jesus is the key to the presence of God. He opens the way to all who come to Him, and shuts the way for all that reject Him. He brings His people through the threshold and into their everlasting home with God.
O Come Lord of Might (Zeph. 3:17) – Jesus is the mighty one who will save. He is the snake crusher who vanquishes the power of sin and will one day destroy the enemies of God and God’s people. In His might, He bends low to rejoice over all of His people, singing over them in love.
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel – Jesus has come, and we rejoice because Jesus WILL come again. May our hearts long to see Him, and behold Him when He comes in all of His glorious splendor and might. May our hearts prepare Him room, that we would be ready for His imminent arrival to finally take us to the home.
Looking forward to singing these words with you this weekend, church.
Peace and Grace,
P.S. – If you’d like to listen to the worship songs for this upcoming weekend in order to prepare your heart, you can find them on Spotify here or every week on our EBC Church App under the Musical Worship tab.