But many are those who do not know what this means; they live in their own “advent time”, awaiting hope and transformation, peace and strength, comfort and healing, and freedom and redemption, but they do not know where these precious things come from. Even as Christians, we can find ourselves in situations and life circumstances that leave us feeling like we are waiting for the Messiah – Jesus – to come all over again.
My favourite advent hymn is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, which describes the hope of the coming Messiah and His place and purpose in and for our salvation; it is only recently that I have begun to see how relevant this stunning hymn is to everyone who is waiting on the Lord, regardless of their state of faith or the time of year. The chorus testifies:
“Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel”
How many of us, in our darkest tragedies and doubts would love to hear the sweet whisper of “Emmanuel shall come to thee”? How many of our non-believing friends and family crave the saving and gentle touch of “God with us”? Do they know that He has come for them already, and will come for them again?
In the midst of our hardest, longest, and deepest “advent times”, can we challenge ourselves to remember that Emmanuel shall come to us, that He has come to us and will continue to come to us throughout all time? Can we pray for those in our lives who do not know “God with us” and whisper to them “Emmanuel shall come to thee”? Let's stand up in the midst our life circumstances and confidently declare: “Emmanuel has come!”