Advent, which means "coming" or "arrival," is a time of preparation for the birth of Christ, and a celebration of God's unconditional love. Because we are participating in the Advent Project, we will have a weekly meditation on all seven verses of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." The Advent Project proposes returning to the ancient early church practice of seven Sundays in Advent. In the ancient church the seven “Great O Antiphons” were used as the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers, one antiphon during each of the last seven days of Advent. They latter formed the basis for the familiar Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” based on a Latin hymn from the twelfth century and translated by John Mason Neale (1818–1866). Receive this weekly meditation with each of the sung verses of this beloved hymn.
O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the anointed of the nations and their Savior:
come and save us, O Lord our God.
Meditation: Pastor Kelly and Blogger Trevain Wax
Israel’s cry in the first century was for the Messiah’s first appearance. Two thousand years later, we cry out for Jesus' Second Coming. Emmanuel means God with us. The name that sums up what Christmas means for believers. Jesus, the firstborn above all creation, the one through whom God spoke the creation of the world, sitting on Mary’s lap. Ancient Israelites knew that when the Messiah would come, He would ransom captive Israel. Surely, God had seen their mourning in lonely exile under Babylon and now Rome. God would come and put the world right, end their exile, and rescue the people at Jesus appearing.
Hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel (ELW 257, verse 1)
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.
Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Almighty God bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.