‘O come! O come Emmanuel!’ Are words we sing each year around this time marking the Christmas season. I love those opening words. When I sing them, I once again taste the deep yearning overlaid by the aching desperation that they express.
‘…and ransom captive Israel… ‘ My heart leaps with joy, awe and an incredible amount of gratitude that Emmanuel did indeed come and that He has indeed ransomed captives, of which I was one.
‘O come! O come Emmanuel!’ Is the sound of the human race at its most vulnerable. The sound of mankind crying aloud for a way out, for freedom from our mistakes, our regrets, our shame, our guilt, our pain, freedom from our own self destructive ways, knowing full well that we cannot help ourselves. Science, law, finance, pharmaceuticals, sports, celebrity, religion, technology, politics, diet and exercise, medicine, space travel, – heck, not even Google can help us cure such diseases of the soul.
‘O come! O come Emmanuel!’ is the admission, at last, that we need something vastly bigger than ourselves or our own inventions. It’s the eye opening and heart reviving revelation that only the One who created the soul can restore it and that He has come to do just that for those who believe.
I remember being captive myself and being liberated by Emmanuel – God with us. I live daily in His embrace.
I love Christmas for many reasons – the festivities, the atmosphere, being with friends and family, the infectious cheer that seems to infuse people’s attitudes! But my ultimate love for Christmas of course, is the reason for the season; it symbolises the birth of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, the only Begotten Son of God, who cane into the world to set captives free.
The season may have become commercialised but it’s message remains true and the reason for it still abides. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Is 9:6)
Emmanuel, The Christ, is all those things and much, much more.
Have an absolutely fabulous Christmas.
Keep your head on straight and your heart on strong!