Just seeing the words in the title triggers an immediate, visceral response in follower of Christ who has been around the church for more than a single Advent. It immediately brings to mind the carol in all of its brooding minor keys. Singing that difficult song produces a unique feeling; the melody and notes take you instantly to a high church-ancient reverence as you intone the plea of so many before you – Come Immanuel – Come God With Us!
In many churches this week, the Scripture readings included this well known verse from Isaiah:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isa 7:14)
The promise of the Prince of Peace and the Everlasting Father as the righting of the world. How we long for that.
The hope that arrives in the newborn baby.
Advent is a season of anticipation with weekly or daily reminders of what is to come. Our eyes and hearts rarely turn backward during this period; we are focused in hope on the birth of the Savior. His coming into the world restores our sometimes shaky faith and dispels the feeling that God might have left us to our self-created rewards here in the world. To know that the Wonderful Counselor will walk with us once again, as the Father walked with Adam, is to be given the greatest gift of all. Our hopes for the shoring up of the crumbling walls of the city, the banishment of our enemies, the restoration of vision that Bartimaeus, all will be made right with the One who created and sustains it:
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:3-5)
Advent reminds us that our hope lies in one thing, the Lord Jesus Christ.