December 24, 2011

O Come, O Come

Today I Made: Pecan pie and deviled eggs (for Christmas dinner tomorrow!)
Currently Reading: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

I have spent a good bit of the past few months in the Old Testament. Isaiah, especially, is what I keep coming back to (the hopeful bits, at least). And, recently, listening more closely to carols, I have been struck by the words of one in particular: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” It is haunting and mournful and it is the cry of Isaiah, the prophets, the Israelites, all wrapped up into verses that we somehow now sing without thinking. The waiting, the longing, the people far from home and enslaved, crying out: “Come, Emmanuel! And ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here…” It is not festive or merry, but a reminder of our need, our longing, and calling out to the Rod of Jesse, the Desire of Nations, the only one who can do something about it.

But then the refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice! Because (can it be?) EmmanuelGod with us. God with us! shall come to thee, O Israel.

Another thing I’ve been reminded of a lot this semester: ‘“My thoughts are not like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you can imagine.”’ (Isaiah 55:8) Well, obviously. Because how can the God who created the universe, time, each of us, be somehow bound up into skin, lungs and veins, fingernails? How can a glorious God make his entrance into earth so small, at first only interrupting the lives of just a few ordinary, scared people? How can he be made so lowly – becoming a baby, laid in a manger, greeted only by shepherds?

All I am left with is that, incomprehensible as it might be to me, God responds. He is faithful, to the Israelites mourning in lonely exile, to the very same captive cries of our own souls today.

So haste, haste, to bring him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.


  1. ummm i love you. I've been reading a lot of Isaiah and I love the connection you made. Also, have you seen this: It talks about that same verse. I love it. you're wonderful=]

  2. gahh, i love YOU. i am so looking forward to you blog being revived for all your cairo adventures!!


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