One might call the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” the theme song of Advent since it is sung throughout the season of Advent in almost any Christian Church. Perhaps not everyone knows all seven verses or that the lyrics come from these symbolic titles we have been considering for the past week. Today, however, we are in familiar territory. Many of us know that Emmanuel means “God with us.”
What a concept! What an astounding theological truth! Do we really believe that God is, in fact, in our midst? This is the central Christian message: that God “is not far from any one of us.” It is in Jesus, the Christ who has come and is always coming to us, that “we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:16-34) He does not come with fanfare and there is often little notice paid, but come he will to us who long for his presence. So let us be prepared.
And let us pray: “Come, the fulfillment of every longing, like the child’s wildest Christmas dream realized. Alert us to your quiet, attune us to your silences, show us your hidden ways. Emmanuel, come!”