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O Come O Come Emmanuel

Nine months is a long time to wait to meet someone.

But now, on Christmas day, two months before my due date, I’m reminded of a wait much longer than this.

The promise came early: just three chapters into Genesis, in the garden of Eden, God promises to send a Savior to save the world. And the wait begins.

Perhaps Eve thought her first son, Cain, would be the one to crush the serpent. Years later, maybe Abraham thought his son Isaac might be the promised one.

But the years come and go. Israel is enslaved in Egypt, crying out for a Messiah.

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free”

Moses leads the people of Israel out of Egypt to wander through the wilderness in expectation of a promised land.

“O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

But the years pass by. The nation of Israel is established in the promised land, but they turn their back on God and Israel falls to Babylon. Jerusalem is destroyed and Israel is exiled. But still they wait.

“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. “

Thousands of years spent in anticipation, looking and hoping for the One who would deliver them from captivity. Then one night, heaven breaks through the silence.

“Then the angel said to them,
‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy
which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.'”

It’s the birth of the long-awaited Savior, come to redeem Israel, but with a purpose far bigger than Israel might have imagined.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

He was Israel’s strength and consolation, but He was sent to save us all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

So today we celebrate a long-awaited birth, which is the beginning of our own release from captivity and bondage. He is our Savior too, born a child and yet a King. Born to reign in us and bring us to his new kingdom.

The mighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, takes on human flesh so that we can be free. It all started in a manger, with an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and it ends in victory. He is the reason why celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

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  1. great blog!!

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