O Come, O Come Emmanuel was written in Latin and translated to English somewhere in the 1800's. There's afew different ways it can be sung, either way the song simply means their is a Saviour coming to save the world from the depths of Hell.
Matthew 1 starts off with the ancestors of Jesus and then tells of what happened with Mary and Joseph. This is why the song is call O Come, O Come Emmanuel and what it promises!.
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Time after time, the Israelites found themselves separated from God – always by their own doing. And God would eventually deliver them, only to be betrayed by His chosen people again. So we find two constant themes in the Old Testament:
The Israelites, no matter how hard they tried, were unfaithful God.
God remained faithful and fulfilled the promises He made to them.
Through His prophets, God made many promises. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and you shall call his name Emmanuel.” The name Emmanuel translates as “God with us.” It’s a remarkable promise – the Ultimate Being and Creator of the Universe promising to make Himself physically present with the people who have proven themselves unworthy.
In one of the most somber Christmas songs, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, there is an embraced tension within Israel. They are in exile, separated from God yet again. With a sober perspective, they choose to rejoice in the promise God has made to them. With nothing else to cling to, in the midst of desperation and loneliness, they recall and proclaim the promise that God would be with them – knowing that, in spite of their unfaithfulness, God is faithful to His promises.
No one could have expected a baby in a manger to be the start of God’s perfect plan to be “with us.” And yet, that is exactly how God fulfilled His promise.
Are you waiting for God to come through on a promise He has made? Do you feel a sense of loneliness or exile? Rejoice! Rejoice! Through Christ, God has made Himself present to us. His faithfulness is greater than our failure. And His presence is all the reason we need to, once more, rejoice!
Since God is “Emmanuel,” how is God with you this holiday season?
He's in my heart and with me everyday, not just when it's Christmas, but 365 days a year. Somedays it feel like He's far away or where is he, but like the poem Footprints in the sand when the times are tough He's there carring me through the storm. He promises me enternal life in Heaven.