I’m in a celebratory mood.  Eight years ago today, on Christmas Eve, BBF began.  I’d like to celebrate by reposting a post from Christmas past.  Merry Christmas!

The other night, Emily, our young daughter, asked me how the carol, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” went.  I only got about seven measures in and didn’t know the rest of the words.  I grabbed a hymnal and looked in the back of it.  Before I got to the page I wanted, I discovered an index called, “Index of Familiar Hymns with Unfamiliar First Lines.”  The carol I was looking up wasn’t there.  When I got to the page of the carol, I saw that the words I needed were, “…That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear.”

For those of you unfamiliar with this carol, the whole first verse is, “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!”  For everyone that wants an analysis of this verse, biblestudyplanet.com does a good job.  This site says:

“Israel, like sheep, had wandered away from God. Held prisoner by their sin, they longed for the promised Savior who would restore their relationship with the Father by making “his soul an offering for sin”, thus making “intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:6;12) The Savior would pay the ransom that was owed and would lead the captives into the presence of God.

The hymn writer tells Israel to rejoice because Emmanuel is this Savior. Emmanuel means “God with us.” God Himself would be their Savior just as He had always been in times past. God is not unconcerned or unaware of their troubles. No, He loves those who are lost and comes to save them personally.”

What a deep and beautiful Christmas carol!  Have fun singing!

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