It’s Christmas time again, which means that my favorite musical artists are singing songs I grew up singing in Church. Songs like “Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel.” (Click here for an incredible piano/violin instrumental version of the song.) Sometimes, though, we sing a song so many times that we forget the meaning behind the words we’re singing. We’re just singing on autopilot, with our brains engaging other thoughts. What does this hauntingly beautiful song I secretly sing all year actually mean?
Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times gave holy law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Oh, come O Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From ev’ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow’r to save;
Bring them in vict’ry through the grave.
Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
This song is so much more than a Christmas song – it’s a prayer to God. Actually, when you begin to break this song’s meaning down, it’s not really a Christmas song at all. This song is asking God for deliverance, for wisdom, for manifestation, for victory, for exodus, for encouragement, and for unity. Between each request is repeated the reminder that no matter our circumstances we should still rejoice, for we know that God With Us is going to come through. This song is a song of hope, of expectation, and of supplication.
What ties this song to Christmas is that Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection is that makes answered prayers possible. Without Christ and His great love and sacrifice for us, we could not approach God, for without Christ there can be no forgiveness of sins. But because of Christ we can approach God with boldness and present our needs to him. Think about it: The maker of the universe and everything in it wants to hear what is going on in your life, and he wants to provide you with every good thing. That is the hope of Christmas! We can gain salvation and an audience with the Father because of the gift of the Son.