God had made a promise to King David, it was a continuation of the promise He had made to Adam and Abram. One day in a time of His choosing God would bless the world through the family of David.
God had taken David from tending sheep and made him a King. He had established David on the throne of Israel and through King David’s family tree God would send Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
The Bible says that we are all like sheep, we have all gone astray. We need a shepherd to come and find us. That is exactly what God has done for us by sending us Jesus. The Good Shepherd who was born in an animal pen, laid in a manger, would one day seek and save those who are lost.
Our hope for you today is that you will be found in the company of the Good Shepherd.
The familiar Christmas hymn that accompanies this devotion is called “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” it flows from an eighth century poem which was used as a call and response during vespers. When read in the original language the text creates an acrostic in reverse “ero cras,” which translates to “I shall be with you tomorrow,” and is a particularly appropriate thought especially during Advent.
Five of the seven verses of this hymn expounds upon one of the names for the Messiah found in Sacred Writ. “Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, Mt 1:23) means “God with us.” “Adonai” (Exodus 19:16) is a name for God which signifies that he is the giver of the law. “Branch of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1) refers to Jesus’ family’s lineage. “Oriens” (Malachi 4:2, Luke 1:78-79 Revelation 22:16) is the morning star or daystar. “Key of David” (Isaiah 22:22) refers to Jesus’ Kingly lineage. Through these elucidating words we see Jesus as Prophet, Priest, King and Brother.
As you read these beautiful words may ay God richly bless you with a deeper understanding of Who Christ is.
O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
With much love, The Downings