Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent Thoughts #19 - December 18

As a little girl, every Christmas Eve vespers service I ever attended began with this song, written out below (here's a link to listen):

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

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home

This is a haunting song. A song sung by people in captivity and bondage. A song of slavery. A song of gloom and darkness. A song of the lonely. Yet...a song of hope. A song of promise. A song of redemption. You hear it in the music and lyrics.

The good news is Emmanuel came and with Him came everything that those in slavery, darkness, and misery hoped. Now, it's simply a matter of receiving... For all, even those who are in that dark place that sometimes envelops over the holidays, there is JOY to be found in Jesus. This is the story of the third advent candle, lit last Sunday: in His presence is fulness of joy. May we pass that on... Emmanuel came. He ransomed. He turned mourning into dancing. He freed us from Satan's tyranny, brought victory over the grave, dispersed the gloomy clouds of our lives, and cheered our spirits. May we live like we BELIEVE...and make it contagious to others who don't know it yet. The Good News is Advent is near for all who believe and receive...

Step into the joy of freedom in Christ!

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