ours for the asking

O come, O come, Emanuel
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!

I literally hear a stringed orchestration of this song in my head when I read the title.

Beautiful

Haunting

A song about preparing

A song about waiting

And one of my favorites

As I read through the lyrics again, the music (again, in my head) pours over me and I feel hope.

2954f38ee615dc90269b6b4a24201813This song reminds me that hope doesn’t always mean that all is well. Hope doesn’t always mean we are on the right path or that everything will be okay. There wouldn’t be a need for hope if it were.

Hope is the sense that words like right, well, peace and wholeness are possible, but not right now.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11

The mournful sound of this song doesn’t gloss over the harshness of our world nor does the yearning downplay the sure and certain hope of God-with-us, light that puts dark to flight and peace for all creation. This song, more than any other for me, captures this state of in-between-ness. We’re caught between the hurt and the healing, the despair and hope  and the waiting for and seeing God’s Kingdom.

It’s when I listen to these words during the long, dark hours of winter (nights like this):

O come, O come, Emanuel
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!

My heart cries right along with it and those tears are as healing as the waters of baptism.

My challenge to you: listen to those words again in a version more to your liking. Join the generations that weep for los and long for hope. Know that despite of all that we see and experience here, this isn’t our final destination. Ask God to make that abundantly clear to you this holiday season.

O come, O come, Emanuel

—And if you’d like to “hear” what I often hear in my head…take a look at this arrangement by one of my favorite groups: The Piano Guys.

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: