December 1 is the 1st Sunday of Advent, that time of preparation to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus the Christ (Messiah).   Often one of the first songs we sing in Advent is that haunting melody, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”   The tune is a 12th century Latin hymn and it take the form of a chant or plain song.  Long before Jesus was born in Bethlehem the Old Testament prophesied his coming.

Isaiah 7:14, “…the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God with us (see Matthew 1:23).”     Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.   And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   What is your favorite name for Jesus?

In Luke 1:30-33 the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.   He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;  his kingdom will never end.”   Jesus is the promised Messiah that “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” speaks of in words of great hope and longing.   The refrain is “Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” As they longed for the Messiah to come, we long for Jesus to come again.  Are you ready?   Are you living each day like it could be your last?   Remember Jesus is Immanuel.   He is God that is with us always.

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