“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” – Luke 1:32,33
The preparation for the celebration of our Lord’s birth begins four Sundays before Christmas Day. This begins the period known as the Advent season, this year on Sunday, December 3. Advent centers on the Old Testament prophecies concerning a coming Messiah and His establishment of an earthly kingdom. The Messiah’s coming was prophesied 600 years before His birth. At the time, the Jewish people were living in captivity in Babylon. For centuries thereafter, faithful Jews earnestly anticipated the Deliverer-Messiah with great longing and expectation, echoing the prayer that He would “ransom captive Israel”. And finally the long awaited heavenly announcement came: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!” (Luke 2:11)
The hauntingly beautiful Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (one of my personal favorites) expresses so effectively in words and music the longing and anticipation of God’s people:
“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 Dayspring come, and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here;
and drive away the shades of night, and pierce the clouds and bring us light.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, shall come to Thee, O Israel!”
Emmanuel means “God with us”. We know on this side of the Incarnation that Christ came even in a more personal way: God in us. I pray that all of us at Santa Fe will carry this amazing truth throughout the Advent Season, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Have a happy and holy holiday season.
“O come, let us adore Him… Christ the Lord!”
In God’s love,