O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (ELW 257, st. 1)
1 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 you, O Israel.
Text: Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. composite
On this first Sunday of Advent, we wait. We are expecting a great gift. Like a child who can hardly wait to rip open a Christmas present, we wait with anticipation for a gift that will change our lives, a gift that will rescue us from things holding us back, a gift that will speak to the losses we’ve experienced this year, a gift that will help us realize that we are not alone.
In the first verse of this hymn, we describe the gift we are waiting to receive. We're waiting for the gift of Emmanuel, God-with-us. That's the gift we need more than any other — the gift of being more aware of God's presence among us. Jesus — God in human flesh — is that gift. May we be more aware of the presence of Jesus as we enter this season of Advent.
Jesus, thank you for being a gift to anyone who will receive you. Please help us to be more aware of how you are with us in the midst of our everyday lives as we enter this Advent season. Amen.