Wednesday, December 23, 2015

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord, The anointed for the nations and their Savior: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

As Christmas Day draws ever closer and we explore this last O Antiphon: Emmanuel – God with us, I am contemplating the one present I think everyone may want. A clue would be that one size fits all and it is quite inexpensive.  That gift is affirmation from those we love and those who love us. What everyone truly wants and needs is recognition of who they are, and to be seen for the good that is inside each of us. The delightful news is that this is the very Gift that God longs to give us.

Like many little boys, our youngest son, Jake had days when he was very difficult to be with – a day at school which did not go well or when he was sick with his frequent sinus problems. Those would be the days when he would be on a rampage, alternately slapping at his brothers then begging to play with them.  The antidote often was to take him on a walk to one of the local nature trails.  He was, and still is, very adept at spotting hidden wildlife and seeing something beautiful in nature.  What Jake desperately needed at those times was for me to recognize his strength. Those were the days when he needed the most love. I would say "so glad I brought along my wonderful Nature Observer.”

What is the talent that God sees in you even on your worst day?  As the O Antiphons conclude today, we can look back at the seven different names given to God in these prayers. But when God looks at you and says “O” with great delight, what praise name do you think God bestows upon you?

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.

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