O Come O Come
We stand, as believers, on the cusp of 2015. 2000 years ago, Jesus ascended into heaven and here we are still waiting for His return. He left us with a prayer that insists upon us asking for His kingdom to come, which we continue to pray. The Church has prayed that line, ‘your Kingdom come’, ever since He left. Jesus said the kingdom of God is coming soon. Two thousand years and still waiting is a little bit longer than I would have anticipated, but still He has told us to wait. Disciples of Christ all over the world are dutifully waiting for that day. The day we meet our maker will be the day humans come back into view of God. This is the second coming, when Jesus returns and judges all.
We say the second coming because there was a first coming. Each year we celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world. Around this time 2000 years ago God came and lived amongst us.
We now call that Christmas, when Christ came and was in communion with people.
“O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
The word Emmanuel in the first chapter of Matthew is said to be the name Jesus was to have. This carol is a hark back to the book of Isaiah, chapter 7, when Isaiah prophesies the way God's story was to pan out for Israel. The chapter explains that the people of God, Israel, would have a son born to them, who would be God with them. This is what what Emmanuel means literally in Hebrew, “God with us”. God was to be born among them, and he would come from the line of King David.
And that is precisely what happened. A boy was born, and we celebrate His birth year in year out. The truth being, as we see in the verse above from the well-known carol, that He could ransom Israel; a people who were captive to their own sin. Sin, which could only be taken away by the ransom Jesus gave on the cross. At the knowledge that Jesus is coming, we rejoice! To rejoice means to be glad, to take delight in something.
God, Creator, King of all, Mighty and Everlasting. He gives and takes away of His own accord. He came to us little people, to be among us and to save all those who were to follow him. Yes, a baby is cute, and yes the stable story is a great one for us all to act out at Christmas. The trees look nice, and we all enjoy a stocking or two. We like the stories of the wise men and shepherds, we want family and friends round to munch on that fat turkey and enjoy presents on Christmas day. But we do all of this, not just because it is fun and nice, but because it is a celebration of a true and real event, when God came and dwelt among us.
Christmas is sweet, but we are waiting for our real second Christmas, when Christ returns. We still sing that famous carol, ‘ O come O Come Emmanuel’, and we should sing it daily, because Jesus was only born for the Easter story to then be told. Jesus wasn’t a mistake, He is the main character in the story of God and the storyline goes on through Easter through us now, and onto the second coming... in which we say “O come, O come!” Rejoicing in the knowledge that it will all happen soon.
Happy Christmas guys.