Friday, December 4, 2009

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

The season of Advent is upon us! During this time of the Church Year, we take time out of our daily hectic lives. We slow down, and again ponder the wonder of the Incarnation, and prepare ourselves not only for the celebration of Christmas, but also for Christ's Second Coming. It is a time of prayer, of fasting, of anticipation; a time of joy, of repentence, of preperation.

During this Advent season, we must ponder the Mystery of the Infinite God taking up human flesh. He Who is fully God became fully Man, that He might take up man and forgive his sins.

But, we must constantly remind us that He has come, He is come, and He will come. For, over 2000 years ago Jesus came; He lived, died, and rose again for the salvation of man. He comes to us, every time the we gather in His Name. He comes to us in Holy Scripture; in Holy Baptism, where He clothes us in His righteousness; in the Absolution our Pastor speaks over us; in the Sacrament of the Altar, wherein He comes and bids us partake of His Most Precious Body and Blood.

Knowing then that He has accomplished our salvation and is still with us even now, we look foward to the Eschaton- the End of All Things. We pray with the whole Church:

"O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel."

For we are but strangers in this land; foreigners in a foreign land. For, having taken on Christ, we are no longer merely of this world- we are now citizens of the Kingdom of God. We long for His justice to be poured out; we long for the Return of Our King. We long for the peace only the Prince can bring.

But, fear not! Turn not your head downtrodden!

"Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel! Has come for Thee, O Israel!"

Heavenly Father, we pray and ask Thee to prepare our hearts for the Advent of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Jesus. Even as we contemplate the wonder of His Incarnation and Nativity, we pray that we would contemplate and anticipate His Second Advent, at the End of Days.

Holy Spirit, we ask Thee to illumine our hearts with the Light that has come into the darkness. May the love of the Christ-child fill us, and may You increase in us Faith.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus, Who livest and reignest together with You and the Father, One God, now and forever, unto age without end. +Amen+