Rejoice.

December 1, 2009

Long before I knew what a minor key was I wondered why this song sounds so mournful. I would sit in church and wonder why we were singing such a sad song at Christmastime. Finally I focused on the words, and the music became more clear. The entire song is not mournful, just the verses, the chorus is joyful.

This song is very much a BC/AD kind of song. (Not AC/DC-BC/AD; there is a difference.) These verses tell our story.

O come o come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Lost and apart from a God whom we have not met yet know exists, we lived in exile, until…


Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

O come thou Wisdom from on High
Who ordrest all things mightily
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in out path to go.

Now look at the names of God in this great song. Notice how every one of his names meets one of our needs. “Wisdom from on High” Couldn’t we all use some of that?

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

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

“Rod of Jesse” Isaiah says the savior will come from the rod, or root of Jesse. In other words the son of Jesse-King David. The savior of what? From what? From Satan! From the grave!

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel


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

I’m going to quit babbling…just enjoy the words to this beautiful song, and rejoice!

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

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

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

O come on come great Lord of Might
Who to thi tribe’s on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In clouds and majesty and awe

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

O come thou Root of Jesse’s Tree
An ensign of thy people be
Before thee rulers silent fall
All people on thy mercy call

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel

O come Desire of Nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind
Bid thou our sad divisions cease
And be thyself the King of peace

Rejoice! Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee o Israel


O Come O Come Emmanuel
12th Century Latin text, translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: