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Saturday, December 1, 2018

In this world of instant gratification, none of us have to wait very long for anything. And when we do, we don't like it very much. But some of us have waited. We've waited for things more important than a cup of Starbucks or a driver's license.

We've waited for love. A place to call home. A loved one to come to know Christ.

Or a baby.

The children of Israel had been waiting, too. For a very, very long time.

They had been waiting for a Savior. A Redeemer. A King.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
This ancient advent hymn, translated for us by John Mason Neale, was once part of the medieval Roman Catholic Advent liturgy. On each day of the week leading up to Christmas, one responsive verse would be chanted, each included a different Old Testament name for the coming Messiah. We sing this hymn with the already-but-not-yet sense of waiting. We wait as the exiles did, yet our wait is different.

For He has come.

To the manager . . .  the Word made flesh.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
As we wait for Christmas, as we wait for God's help in the trials and tribulations of this life, we can sing this carol with hope and with confidence. Because we know He is returning . . . 

. . . as King!


1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain

3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

4 O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave. Refrain

5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death's abode. Refrain

6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain

7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain

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