Tuesday, December 12, 2017

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Perspective changes everything. 

I love Christmas music and last year I shared some favorites.

This year I have noticed how many Christmas songs talk about, not just Christ's birth, but also His victory over death and His return. Of course we know that is why He came, but when life is jolly and merry, it is easy to forget that Christ came to a helpless, hopeless, heartbroken world to restore our relationship with God. 

Too often I'm so comfortable and satisfied that I don't appreciate Christ's coming or look forward to His return. I sing a song like this one and enjoy the tune without fully appreciating the message.

Not this year.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lowly exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come Thou Dayspring come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high, 
Who ordered all things mightily; 
To us the path of knowledge show, 
and teach us in her ways to go. 

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might, 
Who to your tribes on Sinai's height 
In ancient times gave holy law, 
In cloud and majesty and awe.

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse's stem, 
From every foe deliver them 
That trust your mighty pow'r to save; 
Bring them in victory through the grave. 

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

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind 
In one the hearts of all mankind; 
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease, 
And be yourself our King of Peace. 


  1. I really love this song and I wish churches would sing it not just at Christmas time.

  2. I have seen versions where the last chorus says "Emmanuel HAS come to thee O Israel."

  3. One of my favorites.
    God with us
    Merry Christmas and God bless

  4. Gina, I don't think I have read all the words to this lovely song before. What a beautiful song it is!

  5. I like this song too, especially in the days before Christmas. We heard a good sermon last Sunday about how Jesus did NOT come just to be a sweet little baby in a manger. He was so much more as Son of Man and then Lamb of God. I'm glad we don't have to remain "captive." God bless you--I'm sure you are making good memories, yet the unknown still gnaws inside where the worry starts. "God with us" is in there too.

  6. This is long, but I wanted to share. This is my favorite Christmas song.. a few years ago my husband wrote a book about our friends' and families' favorite Christmas songs and I was given the honor of writing the introduction. I wanted to share it with you.
    "Soft blue lights twinkle amidst the fresh green boughs of the Christmas tree. I can almost smell the sweet evergreen that lingered in the air. These memories wrap around me like a soft cotton cloud. My mother, grandparents, two brothers, my sister, and my young aunt all nestled in the pew waiting for midnight mass to begin. Looking around the church, I could see extended family. Aunts and uncles, distant cousins, all here for the same reason. These are the memories of my Christmases past. The sights and smells all mingle together bringing the warmth and love of family. I can smell the sharp scent of the incense as Father Karl and the altar boys make their way to the front of the church carrying the Baby Jesus, and gently laying him in the manger. Then the sweet mysterious strains of "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" begin. Now, it is Christmas.
    In those days, I stood with my family and learned to sing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" in Latin, "Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus Dominum". It was tradition. Our Christmases were wrapped in music, sweet, sweet music.
    My favorite Christmas song? "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel".  The hope written in this song... "Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel will come to thee, oh Israel," perhaps wasn't understood as a child. I was irresistibly drawn to the music that had been penned in the minor keys. But as I grew up, the promise that Emmanuel, "God with us," would come, became clear. The promise that came to pass in the dark night, under a shining star, in a stable in Bethlehem.
    As the years passed, we grew, the faces changed in that old church, but the feelings of family, love, tradition remained the same. Although our Christmas Eves no longer include a visit to that old church, the visions of Christmases past, the ringing of the bells, the joyful singing of the hymns and carols are part of me that never fade.
    I have heard it said that music is the cord that ties us all together. If this is true, then Christmas music is the sparkling, glittering ribbon that binds our hearts together with joy, love, peace and the promise of Christmases to come."

    That's all.. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.

  7. This is one of my favorite hymns.

    Thank you for sharing, Gina!


  8. I was thinking the same thing Regina was. I had forgotten this song! We have been housebound for the most part for about 4 1/2 years now. This is what we ought to be focused on!!!

  9. Yes I was thinking similar thoughts listening to some Christmas music the other day. This year struggling through some personal issues as well as two miscarriages in a row has caused me to be very thankful that this earth is not all there is! One day there will be no more sickness, crying, pain, or death.


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