Death’s Dark Shadow Put to Flight

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, O come, thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
in ancient times didst give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.

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, O come, thou Day-spring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadow’s put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Key of David,
come and open wide our heav’nly home;
make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Emmanuel is one of the oldest and most beautiful works in the hymnal. Dating back to the 12th century, it harkens us to a longing craved by people since the beginning. With hauntingly beautiful language it unites all of us with the rich and sorrowful history of Israel. Their exile and enslavement become our own to sin, their longing for a savior is ours, as well as their eternal and great hope in the unshakeable promises of the Lord. For no matter how great our desperation or how burdensome our sin, we have but to look to the Lord, our Day-spring on high, to know that he has already put death’s shadow to flight, and that he will come to save our weary souls in majesty and awe once more.

~Brandon and Emily Dieleman

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