Day 12: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

by Dec 12, 2020Christmas 2020, Devotional, Songs of Christmas

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


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

(Watch the music video by LP Worship)

The manger in Bethlehem was far from a quiet place. Amidst the noise of the livestock there was Mary, the young mother, toiling through the pain of bearing a child. The pain of childbirth, unlike anything I have experienced or ever will, is often coupled with a level of expectancy. For Mary, it wasn’t only the expectation of meeting her first child, but the promise of an answer to the pain in the world. Romans 8:22-24 describes that “all creation groans and waits for redemption.” The passage goes further to describe this groaning like the labor of childbirth. As I look around and see the extreme poverty, the injustice and corruption in our governments, the wickedness of greed and envy in our culture, I’m left feeling desperate for a savior and an answer to this broken world in which we live. I feel the groaning that all creation experiences as we wait for God to restore and redeem our world.

Some years at Christmas time I feel the warm comfort of family and community, while other years the loneliness of the holiday can feel unbearable. But one thing remains the same.  My response to the groaning of the brokenness and pain I encounter in the world is to cry out: O come o come, Emmanuel.

This song of this title is a cry from within God’s people for a savior who would come. This request to Heaven points me to a stable in a small town in the middle east and to a sleeping child.

Emmanuel translated means “God with us.” God sees our pain and choses not to simply remove it but to experience it with us. God with us means that He would walk, talk, eat, sleep, and yes, groan with us. In this time of year, whether joyful or sorrowful, the song “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” reminds us of the answer to life’s pain. That in the midst of our cry God responded by drawing near in a way we could have never expected. God chose not to sympathize for His creation from far away but to join the experience and became a savior that was anything but distant.

During this season may the nearness of God be clear to you.  May He make His response to your pain clear:

“I’m here, I’m here, I am with you.”

Day 16: Silent Night

Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright 'Round yon virgin Mother and Child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace   Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!...