Friday of the third week of Advent (Final day of Hanukkah)
O Come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear,
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
Where are you, Emmanuel?
Are you here?
Are you here in the messiness of our lives?
Can you really ransom us from our captivities,
our slaveries to addictions, our hatreds and grudges and jealousies
that eat us up and spit us out?
Our guilts, our “coulda, shoulda, wouldas — our druthers and regrets?
Our lethargy, our hopelessness, our slumber, our rage?
O Israel! O America!
Do you want Emmanuel to come?
Do We want you to? (Do I?)
Many languish in mourning, Emmanuel
in exiles made by Wall Street and homelessness and sickness
and loneliness and selfishness.
Many a young heart mourns / aches for direction and meaning and love.
Prisoners waste away. Such a waste of young lives!
Will you ransom their hearts, and souls Emmanuel?
— our hearts and souls?
Will you change our justice system to be truly just?
Will you truly rain down justice as the psalmist says?
Yes, O come, Emmanuel!
Even though we can sometimes hardly be with ourselves.
Captivate us, inhale us with Your love.
Dazzle us with hope and new life and possibility.
Yes, Emmanuel! We believe you will come.
Maybe not today or tomorrow.
You will transform the secret mournings of our souls.
We will dance and sing and embrace You and each other
because you came among us, Emmanuel.
You ARE with us, Emmanuel.
You are LOVE ITSELF!
If only we could — would — see You, right in front of us — with us.
Then, would we — could we — embrace You / open our hearts to you!
Because of You our being becomes “being-in-love!”
We rejoice! We give thanks! We believe!
Come, Lord Jesus! Yes, Lord Jesus, come.
Brothers and sisters, this Christmas let each one of us give thanks
— and receive again in a new way
such a precious, wondrous love,
such a wonderful gift.
Here is a YouTube presentation of the powerful hymn sung by Steve Green “What wondrous love is this?
Enjoy and have a wonderful day!
priest / writer