Much of life is not as it should be. And we yell, groan, and weep with the heartaches we must endure. But Jesus has come as Emmanuel to redeem our weary souls and open wide our path toward life and love.
Christmas is rightly a time to enjoy merrymaking with our family and friends – to celebrate with good eats, lights and decorations, gifts, music, and even a time of rest. Holidays of all sorts are good for the soul.
At the same time, the Advent of Christ is much more than lights and holiday cheer. It’s an invasion – God breaking into the enemy’s camp to free his people.
And so we rejoice because Emmanuel our redeemer has come to set us free from the tyranny of darkness. No longer do we have to live under the rule of the thief of goodness.
Through Christ, we get back everything that was stolen and get to live once again as the true sons of God.
And so we cry O come, O come, Emmanuel as we live in the tension of now and not yet.
Much has already been done for us. And we still yearn for the presence of God to breakthrough and be with us in every area of our life and relationships.
To be sure, the Advent of Christ is as much for this moment as it was for those looking forward to the birth of Jesus. And we still long for his presence today in our daily lives even as we look forward to his coming again.
Wherever the gloomy clouds of night still dwell, Jesus, the bright morning star, is ready to shine and bring us home his light and love.
We don’t have to look far to see the hopelessness and despair around us.
And so as we enjoy our warm holiday cheer to the full, let’s also sing with deep longing:
O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel – set our hearts free and heal our weary souls.
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