Advent is celebrated in the American continent before the 25 Dec Christmas day, starting from the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’, and I didn’t really comprehend the remembrance of Christ’s coming in the context of Christmas when He has come (and gone). The feeling of anticipation is different on this side of Christmas. But a song sung at Worship Service helped me to have a better insight at the expectation of His coming:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
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.
The sombreness of the song underscores the deep yearning of the Israelites for the long-awaited coming of the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, to free them from the rule of Rome. Yet Jesus came not to free them from foreign reign, but to ransom us all from the bondage of sin. What is ‘ransom’? It is to pay a price to redeem. ‘The wages of sin is death…’ (Rom 6:23a), and He paid that price.
He came, and went, and He shall come again…