Drawing near

I think I’ve written about my favourite Advent hymn on this blog before -‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’. It’s so beautiful in the way it captures the solemnity of waiting in faith and hope for the coming of the Messiah.

O come o come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
Who mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to thee, 
O Israel.

Like Israel of the Old Testament, we are captives and in exile until the coming of Christ into our lives. Only He can set us free and end our mournful loneliness, and make our hearts glad. Yet we are able to rejoice still, for the promise of His coming gives us hope. And so in that hope and faith we call out to Him ‘O come, o come!’, knowing that He will hear us and that when He draws near our desires will be fulfilled.

We have now moved past Advent and into Christmastime. This year I was pleased that one of my favourite Christmas hymns was sung at Midnight Mass – ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’.

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels;
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

At Christmas, we rejoice in the coming of Christ and His presence among us. The focus shifts – no longer do we call out for Him to come to us, for He has come! Now the question is how we will respond.

Except that in this song, there is no question; there can only be one response of a heart burning with love in the Lord: O come, let us adore Him!

And so we all run towards the stable in Bethlehem, calling to others to come with us as we run, full of the unspeakable joy of His fulfilled promises to us all.

A very happy Christmas and a happy New Year to all!

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