“O Emmanuel, Come” (Matthew 1:18-25)

Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 19, 2010

“O Emmanuel, Come” (Matthew 1:18-25)

And now we come to the last of the seven O Antiphons, “O Emmanuel.” You see it there in your hymnal, on the page facing the hymn; it’s the one listed for December 23. You’ll find it also in your bulletin. So let’s pray this “Emmanuel” antiphon together: “O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord, the anointed for the nations and their Savior: Come and save us, O Lord our God.”

This word “Emmanuel”–it sounds familiar enough, but what does it mean? The word “Emmanuel” with an “E” is just the Latin spelling of the Hebrew word “Immanuel.” And in Hebrew it goes like this: “Im-manu-el.” “Im” means “with.” “Manu” means “us.” And “El” means “God.” So “Im-manu-el,” literally, “With us, God.” Or to put it a little more smoothly, “God with us.”

That’s what the word “Emmanuel” means, simple enough. But what does it mean in the larger sense to have God with us? How does that happen? Is it good or bad, to have God with us? Is that a scary or a comforting thought? What does it mean for our lives that God is with us? Those are all questions to ponder when we pray this prayer, “O Emmanuel, Come.”


Published in: on December 19, 2010 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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