God Is Full of Surprises
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” - John 14:18
On Sunday we began the Advent Season by looking at my favorite carol, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, translated by John Mason Neale, from the call-and-response chants that have been sung during Advent for 1,500 years! Those special songs are referred to as the “O Antiphons” - each corresponding to a different title for Jesus, referenced in the prophet Isaiah.
Dec 17 - O Wisdom (Isaiah 11:2-3)
Dec 18 - O Lord (Isaiah 11:4-5 & 33:22)
Dec 19 - O Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1)
Dec 20 - O King of David (Isaiah 22:22)
Dec 21 - O Morning Star (Isaiah 9:2)
Dec 22 - O King of Nations (Isaiah 9:6 & 2:4)
Dec 23 - O Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
I think it’s comforting to see the history of the words we sing Sunday (and throughout Christmas), going back for thousands of years, knowing that regardless of the form they take today, they have deep roots!
Christmas is full of traditions with deep roots.
But God is also full of surprises.
There’s also a hidden surprise, a word of comfort and promise, baked into these seven ancient Christian chants.
As it turns out, when you take the Latin names for Emmanuel, King, Star, Key, Root, Lord & Wisdom… they spell out another message.
ERO CRAS translates to “Tomorrow I will be (there)”
Intended or not, the hidden message inside these seven ancient songs is the promise that God, Our Lord, is coming to be present with us. It’s the same message God lived out at Christmas and the same message that Jesus left his disciples (and us) following his resurrection.
May you find comfort this Advent season, in all of the timeless traditions of Christmas, and in God’s hidden surprises too!
Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,