Christmas in a Minor Key

Sandy Hook Elementary. Last time I wrote, none of us had ever heard of this little school in New England. The horror and tragedy of what transpired there has put Christmas at half-staff for our entire country. And yet, Christmas is coming and we have a song to sing: “O, Come, O, Come Emmanuel.”
I never liked this song before now. It never made sense to me, singing “Rejoice, Rejoice!” in a minor key to a solemn meter. “O, Come All Ye Faithful” is a victory march. “O, Come, O, Come Emmanuel” seemed like a dirge. Yet ponder with me the lyrics that capture the pain of this fallen world, the comfort we have in Christ’s redemption, and the promised joy of His triumphant return.

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

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

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

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

So, rejoice in a minor key with me this Christmas, with a broken, hope filled heart for the now and not yet. Rejoice that God so loved us that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him might be saved and have eternal life. Rejoice that His Holy Spirit is with us always. And REJOICE that one day He will come again and right every wrong and dry every tear.

Let us pray Isaiah 61 for those who are hurting everywhere. Isaiah wrote this about Jesus seven hundred years before His arrival in the little town of Bethlehem and two thousand, seven hundred twelve years before the events in Newtown, Connecticut:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

One thought on “Christmas in a Minor Key

Comments are closed.