This song? This song wrecked me tonight. I was on my way to my first office Christmas party for this new job. I had changed outfits about a hundred times. I had darkened my eye shadow and donned the blingy earrings and scarf. I was headed there solo. On my own. The fam has had a bout of the stomach flu this week and while I wanted my hubby by my side-he wasn’t able to make it.
The roads were dismal. Snow has been falling steady and it was hard to see if they were wet from the precip or icy underneath the dirty fallen snow. I had the heat cranked up high and the Christmas music higher. I love (read: am obsessed with) Christmas music. Seriously. There is nothing better. O Come O Come Emmanuel is my favorite. It has been since I was a fourth grader at Trinity Lutheran School, sitting in chapel one Wednesday morning when we opened the hymnals to this page and the words leapt off the page and imprinted themselves on my heart.
I didn’t understand the lyrics, but I knew the symbolism ran deep. Oh come oh come Emmanuel. And ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here. Until the Son of God appears. The nation, his people, waiting. Oh come thou rod of Jesse come….There’s history to that. Old book history. It’s Advent history, which in all my years of living this life I’m just now learning about. And in so finding that piece of Christmas that has been missing.
|Photo credit: Feminine Genius Inc.|
Advent. The time of waiting. When the first candle lit is one of hope. When hope seems so lost and foreign and the battles rage on down our streets and in our nations. The time when we wait in stillness and anticipation of the coming king. The coming peace. Then this song comes on as I’m sitting at a light on Front Street, and the words ring out The world waits for a miracle. The heart longs for a little bit of hope. O come, o come Emmanuel.
And I sat there, thinking how this song is so perfect and timely and how much pain and we are waiting and now I’m crying and my mascara is going to run and I’m going to show up to this party with these people I don’t really know as the “New girl with the wrecked face.” Yes my thoughts run on like this.
Glory to the light of the world. Behold your King. Behold Messiah. Emmanuel.
We are waiting. As the children of Israel waited. In exile. In suffering and lost in our own transgressions. We wait.
As we travel to work on those dirty roads and we hang the Christmas lights and trim the tree. We wait. As we sit in the Principal’s office or the doctor’s office or the banker’s office for the news that will make us or break us. We wait.
We wait for the Day-Spring to come cheer. We wait for the light of the world.
We wait in anticipation of the coming King. The Advent. The joy that comes with the pain of labor. We wait for the angels to usher in his majesty and we wait for his scepter to lower and give us grace. We wait for a miracle.
But my friends, he has come! He is the song for the suffering. He is here in our midst. And he is coming again.
God with us. Emmanuel. He is the light of this world. We have only to look.