Tag Archives: Emmanuel

o come emmanuel

o come Emmanuel

I’ve had a lot of conversations over the last couple of weeks about Christmas. Shocker, right?! I’ve shared many words with friends (not the game) about not missing Jesus in the midst of this season.

Which kinda makes me want to barf just saying that. Cause I despise clichés. And hanging a banner of “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” makes the blood run cold in my body.

I have some things to work through.

But. My point remains.

It is so easy to speed through the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, hitting up all the parties, wrapping all the gifts, making all the cookies. It is so easy to miss Emmanuel – God with us – during this time of year.

I very vividly remember the first time I didn’t have a “major” gift on my Christmas list. When I say “major,” I basically mean that I grew out of wanting the kewlest toy of the year. I had books and movies on my wish list and some people didn’t think that was enough. They thought they had to spend so much money and make sure I had the exact same number of gifts as my sister so we would know they loved us equally.

It breaks my heart to think that we can’t be content with celebrating the coming of the Messiah – the long-awaited One descending to His people. And to know that I am not always content with the greatest gift of all – King Jesus.
That in this time of advent – of longing for the One who will come and set all things right – we spend much of our longing on ripping paper off of a box to find a gift that we will probably forget about in 4 months.

What my friend and I have been talking about is this: how do we not miss Jesus? How do we express gratitude and faithfulness to the God who came to be with His people?

My sweet friend Emily recently shared the song O Come O Come Emmanuel on Facebook, which also happens to be my all time favorite Christmas song (that I wish we sang all year long). It truly makes me weepy:

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

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Day-Spring
Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

I think this is how we don’t miss Him.

We sing songs with one another that remind us of the great anticipation that comes with Christmas morning – Jesus has come and death’s dark shadows have been put to flight.
We put priority on relationships over materials.
We have dinners and go to parties and make cookies with real live humans and thank God for the gifts He has given in friendship.

We remember that God has been faithful to send His Son Jesus to His people.
We worship the One who has come to thee.
We rejoice in the confident hope that Emmanuel shall come once again – just as He said He would – to set all things right and ransom His people back unto Himself once and for all.

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psalm 16

psalm-16

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in who is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16

And now, a prayer from my journal:

Father, thank You for allowing the doubt, the heartache, the push-back, the eye-rolls, the distrust, the…well…the **** that I bring to You. Thank You for meeting me in that and loving me even still. Thank You for being a God that doesn’t get scared by that. Thank You for being a God that welcomes the hurt and pain and hard things. And thank You for being the only God that fully heals.

There are times in my life when Psalm 16 seems like a joke to me. I have a “yyyeeeeaaahhhh right!” moment with the writer. “You’re serious? You believe this God is for your good? That your sorrows won’t multiply because you’re not chasing other gods? That you can take refuge in this guy?”

It’s sometimes hard for me to feel that Jesus is sufficient. That God’s goodness is enough. That in His presence I can have fullness of joy.

But then I remember prayers like the one above. I’m reminded that I bring a LOT of junk to the table and God doesn’t throw it off to the side. He sifts through it with me. He welcomes it. He makes known to me the path of life. He really does do the things that the psalmist’s write about.

He isn’t some distant, far off, bully god that takes pleasure is the demise of His people.

No.

He is the God that was born of Mary.
He is the God that came to His people and dwelt among them.
He is the God that hung on a cross to bear the penalty of sin for me, and many.
He is the God that promises resurrected, new life, and has delivered on that promise!

He is the God that, even in the midst of me spitting in His face, He passionately pursues and loves me.
He doesn’t get scared by the crap I bring to Him.
If anything, I think He lovingly awaits me to bring the rest so He and I can deal with it.

Tonight I’m choosing to sit in the promise of not being shaken, because the Lord is my chosen portion and He holds my lot.

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