Are you counting down the days before Christmas? Whether we use a wall calendar with openings for each day or read a daily Bible verse to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, observing Advent helps keep Christ at the center of Christmas.
Focusing on Advent helps to pass the time creatively and also brings meaning to the weeks and days before the holiday comes. Advent is celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas Day. The application of Advent centers on the Old Testament prophesies that tell of the coming Messiah. This prediction was prophesied 600 years before the Messiah’s birth. At that time, the Jewish people were being held prisoners in captivity in Babylon. For centuries, faithful Jews anticipated with great expectation and hope the Deliverer-Messiah that would “ransom captive Israel.”
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a greeting sung to anticipate the coming Messiah. The melody and verse were originally used in the medieval church liturgy as a series of short musical statements: “O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.”
Christ came not only to be Emmanuel, God with us, but to ransom us from the captivity of our sins. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
O Come, O Come welcomes the coming of Christ as a newborn. Emmanuel recognizes the baby King Jesus as God with us.
Let’s pray for a Christ-centered Christmas:
Dear Father God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us. Help us, Lord, not to lose our way as we wade through the added tasks we have during the Christmas season. Help us to keep you first in all we do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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