Rev. David Vandercook, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Little Rock, AR and Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church in Maumelle, AR, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lutheran Service Book #357, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”
This beloved hymn is based on seven ancient “O” antiphons that were used during the last days of the season of Advent leading up to Christmas. The hymn uses the last of these antiphons for the first stanza, focusing our attention on the fact that Jesus comes to us as Emmanuel. He is our hope and joy to set us free from our captivity to sin. Jesus comes as the true Wisdom who orders creation. Jesus comes as the Lord over all who speaks His holy Law. Jesus comes as the King from the stump of Jesse who frees us from the devil’s domain of darkness. Jesus comes as the Key of David who opens the way to eternal life. Jesus comes as the Morning Star who dispels all the darkness of death. Jesus comes as the Desire of all nations who sets all things right in creation. For all this, we sing with great joy to Jesus, our Emmanuel, who comes to be with us.
“The Hymns of Advent” is a series on Sharper Iron that looks at a variety of the hymns found in the Advent section Lutheran Service Book. The season of Advent prepares us for Christ’s coming. The hymns of Advent teach that this is more than getting ready for Christmas; the Word of the Lord sung in hymnody helps us to receive Christ as He comes to us now in the means of grace and when He comes again in glory on the Last Day.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Lutheran Service Book 357
1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Shall come to thee,
2 O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go. [Refrain]
3 O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the Law
In cloud and majesty and awe. [Refrain]
4 O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave. [Refrain]
5 O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery. [Refrain]
6 O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight. [Refrain]
7 O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace. [Refrain]
Text: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Source: Latin, c. 12th cent.; Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710
Translator: John Mason Neale, 1818-66
Tune: VENI EMMANUEL
Arranger: C. Winfred Douglas, 1867-1944