One of the most wonderful times of the year is soon upon us. Sometimes it seems like the “Advent of Advent.” I love the season of Advent because of the hymns which we are privileged to sing. Hymns like “Hark the Glad Sound, “Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah”, “People Look East” and of course, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”. But my favorite hymn for Advent has to be “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. Wouldn’t you agree?
Did you know that the words for O Come, O Come Emmanuel were written sometime during the 12th Century and the plainsong (chant) was written during the 13th Century? Wow, that’s a long time ago! And, yet, it is still so popular and loved by so many. How can that be possible in a time when pop culture dominates the fabric of everything we do, see and hear in our lives? How can it be that something written so long ago could still have meaning for us today? The words are still relevant to each and everyone of us.
Some of the most relevant words of this hymn include the following: Verse One – Emmanuel (deliverer – God with us) God’s people are now separated from heaven and are being compared to the Jewish people being exiled from God’s holy temple in Jerusalem. Verse Two – “Lord of Might.” This just might be referring to the One who first gave the Law at Mount Sinai at which time, there was great accompaniment of lightning and thunder. Verse Three- “Rod of Jesse.” This text comes directly out of Isaiah 11:1…”and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Prophecy fulfilled in the birth of Christ, from the line of David, the son of Jesse. Verse Four – “Dayspring.” This actually means “sun rising.” “The Day Spring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:78:b, 79a), Verse Five – “Thou key of David.” Isaiah 22:22 states, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon His shoulder.” Jesus was to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was to be their hope and their dreams fulfilled.
Today we can rejoice with people throughout the ages when we acknowledge the true Messiah, Christ our Lord, and what he did for us, as a human race. May the Lord God of Israel bless each and everyone of you with the blessings of this Advent Season as we wait, for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Glory to God!
Director of Music