Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 10) O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel has a long and mysterious history. It was first translated into English in 1851 by John Mason Neale, and other writers have added verses through the years.

It is a song of yearning. Throughout the Old Testament God’s prophets predict, the stories foreshadow, and his people wait. What are they waiting for? A Messiah – a promised King who would reign forever. Go back to the beginning in the book of Genesis. Inside the sin-curse declared over a fallen Adam and Eve, lay enfolded a promise of future salvation. A child of Eve would one day come and crush the serpent’s head. The source of all life would eventually banish death and end our exile. And so God’s people waited for that day. They yearned. And on that fated night in Bethlehem, he finally appeared. Christmas is the dawning of our day of reconciliation with God himself. In Christ, we are no longer captives to sin and death; we are no longer exiles from his presence. Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to us.

Scriptures to consider:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. Isaiah 9:2;6-7

English translation by John Mason Neale (1861); music is a French melody from the 15th century

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

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

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

O come, desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease
And be Thyself our King of peace

(full YouTube playlist; Spotify playlist)

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