First Week of Advent: O Come, O Come, Immanuel

When I was a child, I always loved Advent.  There was a melancholia, a longing...but mixed at the same time with anticipation and hope. How did I get all that as a child?  I'm sure I didn't, except to say that maybe all the sights and sounds and smells...all the scriptures and songs and prayers and stories of the "liturgical celebration" weren't entirely lost on me, nor on many of you.  The reality of our God-Man Jesus has grown in me over the years as I've walked and talked with my Savior.

But whether you have had that sort of background as a child or not, why not journey with us these next weeks.  Take it all in as if for the first time...all the sights, sounds, and smells...all the scriptures and songs and prayers and stories.

Below are Scripture readings for every day this week.  Let the Word of God wash over you day by day.  I've linked the passages to biblegateway.com so you can change the version as you wish.

But first, enjoy this Christmas Carol to start off your Advent devotions.  It's one of my childhood favorites:  O Come, O ComeEmmanuel.

I love the intense longing expressed in this song...a longing for the presence of God Himself into our frail humanity...a presence that is our Present Reality in Christ.

Who would have ever imagined it?  God in the fleshC.S. Lewis was right when he called the Incarnation (God made Man, God with Us), The Grand Miracle.

Sing it with us, and let the emotion and wonder of it all bathe over you!

O Come O Come Emmanuel Selah

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 Rod of Jesse, free 
Thine own from Satan's tyranny 
From depths of Hell Thy people save 
And give them victory o'er 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. 
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, O come, Thou Lord of might, 
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height, 
In ancient times did'st give the Law, 
In cloud, and majesty and awe. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel. 

For an interesting story behind the song, click here.

Readings for the First Week of Advent:

Sunday--  Luke 4:16-21

Monday--  John 1:1-18

Tuesday--  Hebrews 1:1-14

Wednesday--  Philippians 2:1-11

Thursday--  Luke 2:41-52

Friday--  Matthew 3:1-17

Saturday--  Matthew 4:12-25

Advent artwork courtesy of my cousin-in-law Marilyn Parente.  Of these beautiful creations, Marilyn says, "I created them using images of panels of glass I shot in Disney with a bit of clipart and some Photoshop thrown in for good measure." Thank you so much for sharing, dear sister in the Lord!

*copyright PhotoScribblings by MB Parente.  Used with permission.