“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a hymn that has haunted me for some time. I’ll never forget singing an arrangement in my college chorale that captured my interest in the spirituality and longing the hymn communicates and the season of Advent incarnates. This musical / theological experience pre-dated my connection with the Anglican family but set a foundation for my journey into this part of the Church. And, it gave me a vocabulary for the difficult seasons of life that inevitably come.
Sunday night I spoke of being desperate for God and how this third Sunday of Advent is a great place to be despite its discomfort. Its places us closer to Christmas, yet more aware of our sin. It is a Sunday where we gain more knowledge of the kingdom of God and the healing found therein from the Prophet Isaiah, yet like John the Baptist find our expectations not quite met, wondering if this path really is the right one (“are you the One who is to come or should we look for someone else?”)
No matter where you find yourself this third week of Advent, I hope it is on the path towards Christmas, walking in the light of the Lord, living in his kingdom with joyful expectation and hope of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. That being said, you may not feel comforted. You may feel a lot like the desperation and longing that is given voice in “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” But take heart because “in the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace” (see Luke 1:68-79).
Praying for you this week - see you Sunday.