First Sunday of Advent 2022

O Come O Come Emmanuel

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 Wisdom from on high, 
Who orderest all things mightily; 
To us the path of knowledge show, 
And teach us in her ways to go. 
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 vict'ry ov'r the grave. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring, 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.

O come, Thou Key of David, come, 
And open wide our heav'nly home; 
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Words: various, combined by unknown author approx 12th Century, Translated by John Mason Neale, 1851.

This haunting advent hymn is the first one that springs to my mind as we start the Advent season today. Over the next few weeks, as we meditate and prepare for the great celebration of our Savior's birth at Christmas, we must first stop and think about the world's darkness and our need of that salvation. In our sin, we are captive and exiled from the Lord. We need wisdom and understanding to know where to go in our lives. We need to be rescued from Satan and sin's tyranny over us. We need light to disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death's dark shadows. We need a path away from misery and towards God. 

Amid that darkness, misery, gloom, confusion, and captivity, Jesus came, and He has brought us light, gladness, joy, wisdom, and freedom. Do you need to be freed from the miseries of this world, from the darkness of sin, from eternal death? Come to Jesus this Advent season. He came so that you may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). 

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