Oh, come, Oh, come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
The season of Advent is about prayer. Prayer that the one who was promised by God would come, come to free the people of God, the people of Israel. The Son of God would come, not only for one people, but for all people. The Son of God would appear not only to free us from the exiles of this world, but from the exile of sin that separates us from God. The season of Advent is about prayer.
Oh, Come, Oh, come, great Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.
The season of Advent is about prayers with power. It is not just prayers of the weak and the helpless offering words that are empty, but it is about the power of the God who created us all, who gave the law to Moses and continues to this day to rule in both heaven and earth. The prayers of Advent will happen not because they are powered by our limited faith, but because they will be fulfilled by the awesome power of our Lord of might.
Oh, come, strong Branch of Jesse,
free your own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell your people save
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
The season of Advent is about prayers of life. The gift of the Son was not just to give us that warm holiday feeling, but to defeat our worst enemy: death. The coming of our Lord on that first Christmas evening was the answer to a prayer that many did not know they were praying. Some thought the Messiah would bring a new kingdom like the one of King David and others only wanted their hatred fulfilled and a king who would kill or drive out the hated Roman soldiers, but God sent instead a true answer to prayer that brought not the limited life of this world’s kingdoms or the death of our enemies, but the defeat of death and live everlasting in God’s kingdom.
Oh, come, blest Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by your advent hear
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
The season of Advent is about prayers of rejoicing. The days of grief and darkness are replaced with the spirit of God. The darkness of night is replace with the light of Christ, the Dayspring. The prayers of Advent of fulfilled and still to be fulfilled. Death is defeated on the cross and we only wait for the day when the resurrection will be fulfilled. We rejoice in prayer at what God has done and we rejoice in prayer for the second Advent for what God will do.
Oh, come, O Key of David, come
And Open wide our heav’nly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path of misery.
The season of Advent is about prayers of the future. As Christ came once, he has promised to come again. Our advent prayers should be that we are ready for this coming, but not only do we pray and prepare for our own readiness, but we pray and prepare so that all people will be ready. A recent popular book series deals with those who will be left behind. Our advent prayers should be that no one should be left behind.
The rejoicing of the season is not only that we are saved, but that the gift of Christ is that all should be saved. Only then may our praying cease and we will rejoice with the heavenly choirs.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you O Israel
The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) presents, Come!, an Advent devotional booklet for 2021 written by the executive staff. This year’s devotional is based on the two-year daily lectionary provided in the North American Church’s Devoted to Prayer daily prayer and reading guide, which is also an adapted version of the daily lectionary in the Lutheran Book of Worship, Year II. We pray the Scriptures, reflections and prayers in this devotional will deepen the Advent journey.
There are several ways to access the 2021 Advent devotional: download a copy or receive daily messages.For details on how to access this Advent devotional, visit thenalc.org/advent.