Jesus is called the “Day-Spring.” The dayspring is the dawn – it’s that moment, which ebbs and flows according to the season, when light first breaks over the darkness. But it’s more than that – it’s the first sign every day of the dispelling of darkness. It is the daily reminder that the mercies of God are new every morning, that despite our sin and rebellion, God did it once again today as the sun has come up.
Through the month of December, I’ll be reposting a series of articles I’ve written that highlights the beautiful and theologically rich lyrics of Christmas carols. Each article contains a little history of the carol, along with a reflection on either a few of the lines or the theme represented in the song. Up first is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”
“O Come O Come Emmanuel” was originally written in Latin, first documented in Germany in 1710. The tune for the words was created separately, and first linked with the hymn in 1851.
The song is played in a minor key, which is fitting, since it is a song that expresses the deep longing of our souls. We, in our brokenness, know that all it not indeed well, and we are reminded of it every day. We are reminded of our great fallenness in our homes, in our world, and even in our most silent moments when we look inside ourselves. We are a people of longing – longing for true joy, for true satisfaction, for true life.