Advent Songs: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel…Rejoice

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David Bahn-Reflections Podcast 

Isaiah 35:1-4

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
    “Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
    will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
    He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
    It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
    even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

Legacy | George Ranch Historical Park, Richmond, TX | October 2022

Who doesn’t rejoice when a baby is born? Perhaps the destitute mother who has no way to support her new born child. Maybe an uncaring father who sees just one more mouth to feed. Could be a harried nurse whose feet ache from days on end of 12 hour shifts. Might be a worried mom or dad who see only a responsibility that their too-young daughter now mother must face.

But these are exceptions. Mostly we rejoice. In the case of Emmanuel’s birth – a miracle in every way – there was much joy. Rejoicing abounded. Angels sang out in the night, “Glory to God in the highest!” The whole creation paused from their travail (cf. Romans 8:22) to breathe a sigh of relief and a song of praise because the time had come for God to act.

Even though we and all creation are waiting for the fullness of our redemption, we too sing our praises and rejoice at the Good News of Jesus’ birth. Joy to the world! Dear Christians Now Rejoice! Go tell it on a mountain! Jesus Christ is born. The Prince of Peace has come. The key of David is unlocking the doors of heaven. Blessings will flow from heaven. We will enter heaven’s gates. Wisdom from on high has been given to us. The mighty Lord has shown his power…in a baby! We are freed from Satan’s tyranny. Morning has dawned. The desire of nations is given.

Are you rejoicing? Listening to Christmas music – not Grandma got run over by a reindeer!  How about Handel’s Messiah. Mannheim Steamroller. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. King’s College Christmas Carols. There are certainly many more!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear. Refrain

Refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

2 O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

3 O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the Law
In cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

4 O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave. Refrain

5 O come, Thou 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. Refrain

6 O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight. Refrain

7 O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace. Refrain

Text: Public domain

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