Waited & Waiting


My favorite Christmas carol is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. During this Advent Season, we are remembering and we are waiting. Not just waiting for the day to celebrate our Savior’s birth, but truly waiting with eager anticipation and a sometimes weariness-hope for the day that our Savior will come again.

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

After thousands of years of waiting in expectation, the Savior did come. He was born to not only comfort the mourning or to ransom Israel from exile. But He was born to wipe every tear from our eye so that eternity will be without any mourning. He came to ransom Israel, but not with a king to destroy the Romans. He could have done that, yes. But He chose to do something far greater. He ransomed Israel with Himself – with God as man – to forgive them and ransom their hearts and the hearts of all generations. Emmanuel came also for you and me, to ransom us from our personal exiles. From the exile of sin that wages war within our hearts, that separates us from God. We can rejoice. Shall come ~ He has come ~ He will come again

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

God fulfills His promises, and the Messiah did come, through the Rod of Jesse. Christ frees us from the tyranny of Satan when we accept Jesus as ruler of our hearts and lives. More than that, His power is over Satan. Satan is continually at work to kill, steal and destroy. But his power is limited. Satan’s victories will never last, and Satan will never win – not in the end, and not eternally. In the end, God will free us from all evil, and from the power of Satan. Because of the resurrection, God already claimed victory over the grave. He was victorious, and therefore, each of us will experience similar victory over the grave. It does not keep us. Death is not the end. We are promised that we will rise again. Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel, God with us. He has come to Israel, and He has come to me. He draws near to me, and desires to be with me each moment of each day. How awesome is that?!

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

My spirit is not always cheery; not even in this Advent Season. But my cheer does not have to be dependent upon me, or those around me. My cheer should come from the knowledge of Emmanuel – God with me, who has already ransomed and freed me. Just as Jesus’ voice “Peace! Be still!”(Mark 4:39) calmed the storm over the Sea of Galilee, so His voice disperses the gloomy clouds that entangle my heart and hover over my mind. Darkness and death flee at the voice of Christ because they know neither of them can win. God with us, Emmanuel, has conquered the darkest night.

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

 As followers of Christ, we are strangers in a strange land. If this earth is unsettling, and we do not quite feel at rest, then that is exactly how it’s meant to be. Our hearts yearn for something more – something always peaceful – something that will last. That something is our heavenly home – our final destination where we will forever be. How marvelous! “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:3 Just as having victory over the grave, Christ has gone before us. It’s a narrow way, but a safe way. Safe because being in the will of God is the safest place on earth. Misery will be no more, because Jesus is preparing our forever home.

Jesus is near. Emmanuel has come. And He promises to come again and take us home. Because of these, we have a true and lasting reason to rejoice. May your heart be encouraged with the reality of the nearness of our Savior this Christmas.

Emmanuel, God with us.

Shall come ~ He has come ~ He will come again


Kelly Arena


  1. Becky Soper on December 19, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    Thank you Kelly for writing and sharing you favorite Christmas hymn. I do see the depth and age long time frame for those who were waiting on Jesus then, as we are.
    Oh Holy Night is my favorite.
    As it tells the wonderful happenings surrounding Baby Jesus coming. How important the shephards were, how Joseph and Mary had to make do for their baby. What transpired was good enough and from the lowliest (hmm real word?) to the most high.
    A Merry Christmas to all of your family!


    • Kelly Becca on December 20, 2017 at 4:44 AM

      Thanks for sharing your favorite Christmas carol with me! Oh Holy Night is certainly up there on my list too! Absolutely. How humbling it is to think of all the events and people that surrounded Jesus’ birth. God has a special way of raising up the lowly! Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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