Christmas after Christmas, I find myself drawn to the song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel". I don't know exactly why but there is something about this song that settles into the depths of me. I can feel the angst in the song...the longing. Today, I took the liberty of rewriting it a bit. I hope you don't mind. In my quest to find out why it speaks so strongly to me, I decided to put it in modern day language.
O Come, Please come God, and be with us. Release us from the chains we've bound ourselves with. We languish in our separation from you!
O Come, promised One, of whom the prophets long foretold. Free us all from Satan's cruelty. Lift us out of the pits he tricked us into digging for ourselves. Give us triumph over our own destruction!
O Come, First Light. Come, comfort and encourage us with your presence. Eradicate the darkness of depression and fear. Break through the clouds of confusion and illuminate our minds.
Rejoice! Rejoice! God has already come! He's answered your prayers, every single one.
This song is the cry of humanity throughout the ages. This is the cry of Christmas. The world needed a Savior and He came. In one way or another I have prayed theses words over and over again for myself, for others, and with others. We live in dark times, and yet as Christ followers we have this incredible Light living inside of us. The world aches for light in their darkness and aches for hope in the midst of their despair. Here's the thing...light shines the brightest when the world is the darkest. Jesus said, " I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12 If we have Him, we will not dwell in darkness and despair, because we have the Light of life living in us. Others will take notice of this and want to know how this is possible.
They'll wonder how it's possible, because they are still crying out in their despair much like the words in "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". They are looking for an end to the darkness that suffocates them. We get to proclaim that the answer has already come and their prayers have already been answered. The Light of life has already pierced the darkness and the darkness could not overcome Him! This is what Christmas is. Christmas is a celebration of prayers answered long before we ever uttered them...answered with just one name, Jesus.
Christmas is a golden opportunity for Christ followers to extend an invitation to a weary, hurting, and dark world. Amidst terrorism, mass shootings, and instability... they are ready, waiting, and longing for hope. We say "Come". Come and meet the Savior. Come and let Him set you free. Come and let Him chase away your darkness and flood your soul with light. Come, and let Him love you. Come, and rest here in His arms. The Light of life has already come in answer to the prayers we didn't know we needed to pray. The question is, will you let Him shine through you? Will you be His brilliant light filled invitation?
O Come, O Come Emmanuel and may the light of your love radiate brilliantly through us!