O Oriens.

O come, O come Emmanuel
within this fragile vessel here to dwell.
O Child conceived by heaven’s power
give me thy strength: it is the hour.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high;
like any babe at life you cry;
for me, like any mother, birth
was hard, O light of earth.

O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
whose birth came hastily at night,
born in a stable, in blood and pain
is this the king who comes to reign?

O come, thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
the stars will be thy diadem.
How can the infinite finite be?
Why choose, child, to be born of me?

O come, thou key of David, come,
open the door to my heart-home.
I cannot love thee as a king–
so fragile and so small a thing.

O come, thou Day-spring from on high:
I saw the signs that marked the sky.
I heard the beat of angels’ wings
I saw the shepherds and the kings.

O come, Desire of nations, be
simply a human child to me.
Let me not weep that you are born.
The night is gone. Now gleams the morn.

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel,
God’s Son, God’s Self, with us to dwell. -Madeleine L’Engle

While I roll my eyes a bit at people who absolutely refuse to listen to any Christmas music before Christmas Eve (or the 15th, I have heard people say, for whatever reason), I must admit that I love that, at church, we don’t sing anything but Advent songs until Christmas Eve. I am sure that some people roll their eyes at that, but I love the sense of anticipation that those songs give me each year. It gives me the chance to transition my heart from the Thanksgiving season into preparedness for Christmas, rather than jumping on into Christmas. This gratitude for the church calendar is nothing new for me to be saying, so I won’t bore you with that. But I like the chance to celebrate that anticipation, not just celebrating the event itself.

Last year, our church used “Here Comes the Sun” as our Advent theme. This makes us sound impossibly trendy, using a Beatles song, which, frankly, isn’t really true. And, if I’m honest with you, it’s the kind of thing I generally scoff at. A Beatles song? For Christmas? But both Mike and I found ourselves incredibly moved by the song by the end of the season, and it has found a permanent spot on our Christmas list, I think. The lyrics of that song are like Advent for me: out of the darkness comes a great light. Does it make you tingle down to your toes like it does for me? It’s been a long, cold lonely winter. Here, my friends, here comes the sun.

O come, O come Emmanuel.

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