This has always been a favorite hymn of mine in this Advent season. There is something joyous in singing the refrain. The hope and reassurance of a captive peoples’ ransom and deliverance conjures feelings of gratitude for a righteous God. A sovereignty unparalleled by the world’s pursuits and the world’s strengths.
It is especially heartening to know the mercy of God is available to all, not simply to the rulers or a few. Isn’t it good to know that in our weakness, we have a merciful God? Isn’t it encouraging that in times of sorrow and distress, the power and mercy of God does not wane and cannot be diminished in any way? When all seems weary and bleak, there is one to whom we can call; Emmanuel. Indeed, God is and remains with us.
In this season of anticipation, we await expectantly for mercy and justice to come into our world. I remember the excited expectation for the birth of our first child. To be honest, it was fraught with great joy and trepidation. Everyone around us seemed to be happy and encouraged us every step of the way. But, as I reflect on that time, that day could not compare to the world’s expectation of the Christ Child. Whether in the eighth or ninth-century or now in the 21 century, praises go up for the presence of a Savior who comes to us as Emmanuel. And in that coming, we find joy in a simple birth.
Prayer: Most Holy Emmanuel, to you we give our praise, our prayers, and our thanksgiving. It strengthens the hearts of those who seek to call upon you knowing you are always with us. Amen.