Tuesday, 1 December 2015

O come O come Immanuel

At the Salvation Army in Mold we have a coffee shop and throughout Advent we are pausing on a Wednesday and Saturday morning to consider some of carols we sing at Christmas and what they mean. 

On Saturday we started thinking about advent and the carol O come O come Immanuel. The words are beautiful. 

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

2. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave. 

3. O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight!

4. O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery. 

5. O come, O come, Thou Lord of Might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud, and majesty, and awe. 

When thinking about advent I considered. What does Advent mean? Whilst researching I found it meant:
1) The arrival of a notable of thing
2) 'To Come

For many advent is a time of waiting. A time of patiently waiting for Christmas to come. As a child the countdown to Christmas seemed to go on for so long! There was a real sense of waiting. Waiting for chocolate, turkey, Santa and Christmas day. But now, as a Christian I share in the waiting for Christ's arrival.

The first Christmas was a real time of waiting for a savior to come. As the first verse of the carol says:
 "O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear."

The world was waiting in what was known as the 400 years silence. Throughout the Old testament God had been in relationship with his people, the coming savior had been prophesied, spoken of and longed for, but silence then fell....

400 Years of silence

The Lowly birth of Jesus brought an end to this silence and ushered in the fulfillment of ALL the prophecies about the savior.

I don't know if you of you like pinterest on the internet but I loses many an hour on that website! Whilst on it recently I found a beautiful advent tradition called the Jesse tree. This is where, throughout advent, every day, an ornament is hung on a tree to represent on of the fulfilled prophesies of Christ. A devotion is read and as advent continues, a greater understanding is found of the lineage of Christ and the part Christmas plays in the greater story of God.

I love the word Emmanuel in this carol

Emmanuel = God with us

After 400 years of silence - God with us

After his death and resurrection - God with us

Despite our shortcomings and failures - God with us

Here today, in this place, - God with us

Listen to the song and think about the arrival of Jesus. Think about Emmanuel, God with us, in our midst, Today

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