I love Christmas carols. If you are anxiously anticipating advent, O Come O Come Emmanuel might be one of the songs you are singing.
The melody and verse was originally used in the medieval church liturgy as a series of short musical statements: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.” It helps not only to sing, read scripture, light candles and count down the days before Christmas. Whether we use a wall calendar with openings for each day or read a daily Bible verse to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, observing advent helps keep Christ at the center of Christmas. Let’s intentionally keep Christ in Christmas. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Focusing on Advent helps to creatively pass the time, and also brings meaning to the weeks and days before the holiday comes. Advent is celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas Day. The application of Advent centers on the Old Testament prophesies which tell of the coming Messiah. This prediction was prophesied 600 years before the Messiah’s birth. At that time, the Jewish people were being held prisoners in captivity in Babylon. For centuries, faithful Jews anticipated with great expectation and hope the Deliverer-Messiah that would ‘ransom captive Israel.’
Christ came not only to be Emmanuel, God with Us, but to ransom us from the captivity of our sins. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matt. 1:23
Let’s pray for a Christ centered Christmas –
“Dear Father God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us. Help us Lord, not to lose our way as we wade through the added tasks we have during the Christmas season. O come, O Come Emmanuel. In Jesus’ Name, Amen”