O Come, O Come Emmanuel has long been one of my favorite Christmas carols. I remember listening to my friend Christine sing this song in high school so beautifully that I wanted to cry. I remember going to a Christmas show where the song was acted, in such a way, that I finally understood with the true meaning of the song. In this show, the Israelites were under the yoke of harsh oppressors and were thinking back to the promises of God and wondering when they finally would come true. So in their sorrowful yearning, they call out to Emmanuel or "God with us" awaiting his first coming to free them from physical and spiritual bondage.
"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. "
This is my favorite lyric in this beautiful carol. As Christians, we live in constant rejoicing and yearning. Rejoicing in the salvation that has already come and yearning for its completion to take place among a deteriorating world. I think that this lyric beautifully displays the duality of our faith. It triumphantly awaits the "Day-Spring" or Jesus to right all wrongs, usher in true justice, and bring light where there is darkness.
This advent season, my prayer is that you will take time to rejoice the coming of Emmanuel "God with Us", appreciate the salvation you have in Him, and meditate on the wonderful expectation of His second coming!
For more thoughts on this, check out this link: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/o-come-o-come-emmanuel