2017-12: ADVENT Thoughts 2 - O Come O Come Emmanuel - Part A: Emmanuel
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[For Advent Thoughts 1: What is Advent? visit http://bit.ly/2jH9Gjx]

Continuing our Advent Thoughts this week, I wanted to unpack one of the carols of the season - one that has particularly captured me this year.

O Come O Come Emmanuel is assumed to be one of, if not, the oldest carols penned. Originally written in Latin before 800 AD, the lyricist was presumably a monk or priest.

Many in our modern day might be more captivated by the haunting melody and chord progressions more so than understanding the deeper truths this song holds. Either way, there can be no denying that this carol, with its rich and long history, is unique and has something very special about it.

In its original form, this song of Advent addresses seven key Biblical views of the Messiah. In modern versions there can be a variance in the number of verses the carol contains, but usually, most, if not all, of these keys are touched upon, all of which are based in Scripture. At the time of its writing, people had very limited access to the Bible, if indeed they could read at all, and thus we find in this song a depiction of many of the Biblical prophesies that Christ in His birth fulfilled, unfolding in a condensed version a picture of Who He was, what He represented, and His mission — and in doing so linking the Old Testament with the New.


The seven key views are: 


Root of Jesse


Key of David

King of the Nations

God of Wisdom




“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23

Most of us have heard of this name of Jesus. Emmanuel in Hebrew means ‘God with us’ — three little words carrying huge meaning. In Old Testament times, to source the presence of God one had to have access to a priest and a place, but in Christ, we now have direct access to Him. In fact, through the virgin birth, God came to dwell among mankind, taking on the limitations of humanity in Jesus.

But His ‘God-with-us-ness’ is not limited to that time and that place 2000 years ago when Jesus walked the earth. The sacrifice Christ made on the cross made that permanent access possible for all eternity. 

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while [by taking on the limitations of humanity], crowned with glory and honour because of His suffering of death, so that by the grace of God [extended to sinners] He might experience death for [the sins of] everyone.” Hebrews 2:9

 Upon Jesus’ ascension to heaven after His resurrection, He promised ‘God with us’ through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Indwelling. Not just dwelling with; God dwelling IN. How powerful, how wonderful is that! Christ in me! Christ in you! Access to all the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit changes our lives now and for eternity, and we are richer than we can ever comprehend! 

 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counsellor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” John 14:16, 17 

Finally, we are promised that in eternity God will be with us. Revelation 21 depicts the culmination of this glorious God-with-us theme. Indeed, “God with us” is a powerful thought. It is an incredible relationship. A beautiful place to be. 

“See! The dwelling-place of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [as their God,] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away….‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:3-5

 Remember, God is with you throughout this day, throughout this season, throughout your life. You have ready access to Him and He loves for you to access Him in every aspect of your in-and-out, go-about life.

“Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to you O Israel [insert your name here]”.

Belinda Tigell is an Australian singer-songwriter, speaker, teacher, worship leader and author. Find her regular blogs on belindatigellministries.com. 
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