O Antiphons – Part 3

In the ancient and majestic Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” we are greeted by 7 beautiful “Antiphons” which point us to Jesus as the fulfillment of all prophecies spoken of Him in the Old Testament and among the people of Israel. Already we have reviewed the first 5 “types” of Christ: Emmanuel, Wisdom, Lord, Rod of Jesse, and Key of David. The final two are “Dayspring” and “Desire of Nations.”

O come, Thou Dayspring, 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!

Dayspring is literally “dawn” as in the physical light of the sun at the start of a new day. At the dawning of light, we welcome Christ into the world to shatter the darkness that had previously plagued the people of God. At long last, the promised One has come to light up the world and cheer our waning spirits. With the dawn, the clouds of night are dispersed and new life emerges from below the horizon…come dayspring, come quickly, so our darkly shadowed world can find freedom and joy in the light of day.

O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the heart of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our King of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

As King of all nations, we now anticipate the arrival of genuine peace. In fact, our hearts cry out for such peace each time we celebrate another season of Advent. Why? Because every year of our lives there are wars that hinder our peace…somewhere in the world, and even in our country, community, church, neighborhood, and among family and friends. Every division, whether large or small, is sad…simply sad. There is nothing we desire in times of strife more than peace. Jesus is the author and perfect example of reconciliation…in Him there is peace.

Christmas is coming and our hearts are growing in loving anticipation and joyful celebration. The season of Advent reminds us to simply wait…in due time, in God’s time, He sent His Son into the world in an unlikely way through unconventional means and in an unglamorous place. We wait with prayerful hope that once more the worshipful celebration of the coming of Jesus in a humble stable will draw us back home…into the arms of God.

Rejoice, dear brothers and sisters in Christ…Jesus has come in a manger and will come again in glory. Rejoice! Rejoice! Alleluia! Amen!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us at Leadership Transformations and the Macchia clan too!

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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