There are many beautiful hymns that have been composed in celebration of the birth of Christ. One of my favorites is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. It may have been composed as early as the 8th century. The melody appears to have originated in France in the 15th century.
The hymn is based on a prophecy in Isaiah 7, a prophecy that looks forward to the birth of a child who will be named Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
In the Garden of Eden, God was present with the two humans He had created, but as a result of their sin, mankind was exiled from God’s presence. From that point forward, the restoration of God’s presence with us, His creatures, become the underlying theme developed throughout Scripture.
In reality, the Bible is a love story, unfolding God’s incredible plan to fix what appeared to be forever ruined by Adam and Eve’s rebellion and disobedience.
And then, in the fullness of time, Jesus is born, and Matthew tells us that His birth took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet Isaiah, quoted in Mathew’s gospel. Jesus is Immanuel. He is God with us. In Him all of the Old Testament types and promises that looked forward to the restoration of God’s presence with His people are fulfilled. Jesus is the Son of God incarnate.
The words of the hymn express the hopes of Israel throughout history, for the fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise. We don’t often think about the fact that we have it sooooo much easier than those living before Christ. We’re able to look back to the fulfillment of those promises – to that most incredible, awe-inspiring moment in history, the birth of Immanuel… the incarnation of the Son of God Himself.
So, based on that fact, here’s my question. As a Christian, do you live every day of your life, celebrating the fact that God is with you, living and working through you?
Christmas, celebrates the joyous fact that In Jesus, God established His presence once again with His people, and He is with us always – to the end of the age.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” Matthew 1:23