Sunday, December 5

For the Second Sunday of Advent

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
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.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, Thou Root of Jesse's tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

---Translated from the Latin by John M. Neal.

The sermon is one of Octavious Winslow's, from a series on the names of Christ. This one is titled Christ - Emmanuel, or God with Us. Winslow points out that this name affirms Christ's diety:
The title of our Lord under consideration distinctly affirms His Deity- "GOD with us." The proof we advance confirmatory of this doctrine must, in our limited space, be but a summary. The title itself would seem to carry to every ingenuous and earnest mind desiring to know what is truth touching this doctrine, sufficient evidence of its veracity. The presence of God with man has, in all dispensations of the Church, been an acknowledged fact. The Jews, as God's peculiar people, had the more immediate token of His presence by an appearance of glory enshrouding with its divine effulgence the holy tabernacle. This they termed the Shechinah, or, the Divine Presence. God was with them in that "cloud by day and pillar of fire by night." But this symbolic and extraordinary manifestation of the Divine presence was to cease with the first temple. A new and more spiritual dispensation was to supersede the old, and another and more wonderful temple was to enshrine the Deity! God would still be with His people and dwell amid His Church, but it would be "GOD manifest in the flesh," and this is the name by which He should be known- "EMMANUEL, GOD with us."
He makes several points about the ways Christ is "God is with us":
  • Emmanuel is GOD WITH US REVEALED.
  • Emmanuel is GOD WITH US SAVINGLY.
He ends with this charge to his listeners and readers:
Live in a realizing sense of the Lord's presence. Do not be satisfied with a religion of which this is not an essential element. Seek to live in this atmosphere, and in no other. Go nowhere, and indulge in no recreation from which your Lord will be absent. O be jealous of His presence! Let not worldliness, or levity, or coldness thrust Him from your arms. And should you walk in darkness, or wade through affliction, or battle with Satan, unconscious of the sustaining, cheering presence of Emmanuel, yet fear not. He is nearer to you than you imagine. Unseen, unheard, and unfelt, Christ is still at your side, "A very present help in time of need." He knows your sorrow, sees your difficulty, is acquainted with all your mental despondency and spiritual distress, and presently your tear-dimmed, cloud-veiled eye, shall be open, and you shall see Emmanuel at your side, in all the benignity of His love, and in all the might of His power. Soon we shall realize this presence in glory, unshaded by a cloud, unmingled with a tear. No more darkness, no more grief- no more sin, and no more separation- "Forever with the Lord." Walk in the sunshine of this blessed hope, and you shall walk in the light of life. Your present light affliction is not worthy to be compared with the glory so soon to be revealed. O how we shall marvel, when we plunge into this sea of love and glory, that we ever allowed present trials and disappointments and persecutions to affect us as they did! One breath of heaven, one refrain of its song, one sight of our glorified Emmanuel will obliterate all the sad memories of the past, and light up the endless joys and splendors of the future.