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O COME O COME EMMANUEL: 1st Advent Sunday

May we lead one another into worship this Advent. Christmas is rich with great art, music, and poetry that helps bring the Word of God pulsating into our hearts. Together, we will help one another have Emmanuel come and stay in our hearts all through the season — whether you are going through sorrow or joy. Move at your own pace, taking one question at a time, or more.

We are not just made of earth, but of heaven. The food and gifts of Christmas cannot satisfy — we need Jesus. When an exercise sparks a flame in you, share it, and our mutual fire will glow brightly all season long.

#1 See the lyrics to O Come O Come Emmanuel below. How do you thirst for Jesus specifically now? Start singing this great Christmas hymn, and memorize two of the verses that mean the most to you — and tell us how that description of Jesus would meet your thirst.

#2  Meditate on this drawing by Martin French, portraying the second coming of Christ as described in Revelation 19:11-18. Martin did eight drawings for the video curriculum I did with Kathy Troccoli called Forever in Love with Jesus. When I asked him to draw this one, he hesitated, feeling perhaps it was too holy to draw — and yet, I’m so glad he did. (He doesn’t have it on his website, but contact information is on his website.) Read the passage that inspired it, meditate on the drawing, and describe the majesty, holiness, and power of Jesus Christ in His Second coming. (I long for you to find Jesus beautiful this Advent — to see that He comes, not only as a baby in the manger, but as the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.)

Tell us what you discover.

3. I watched lots of videos on O Come O Come Emmanuel and this is the one that led by heart to worship.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOAtLJeV7yk Please watch it, let wonder come to you, and tell us why.

#4.  If you don’t know the music to O Come O Come Emmanuel you can find it on the internet — such as cyberhymnal. Meditate on the amazing words to this great Christmas hymn. Tell us what you discover. If you can find the names used for Jesus in this carol in Scripture, you can dig deeper and tell us of the gold you mine.

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 Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


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.


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.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

#5. What is your take-a-way during Advent Week 1?

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  1. I will take verse #1 and #2..As Dee expressed, I too thirst for Jesus to keep my heart ablaze and to fan the flames onto others..For I can easily douse His flame with my sinful thoughts and bind myself back up.

    Lord help me to rejoice in the midst of this never ending trial..Help me remember when my thoughts drift back to my circumstances that you have redeemed me and that this is actually an opportunity you have given me to reveal you to others..That you can give me peace in the midst of this season in my life. Help me to throw off anything that hinders me..Anything..Not once have I felt without hope since I came to know you in 1988 regardless of the seasons of pain I have gone through. Your hope has remained steadfast..I can’t explain it because it is from you.. I can’t turn your hope on or off. I have said I am sad, depressed and lonely sometimes, but I have never not had hope and even though I felt that way I knew you were there and in your time you restored me. I am yours no matter what!! Sometimes I feel like such a pain because I go in and out of the desert, but to you I am not..You love me and your love is perfect..No one can snatch me out of your loving, powerful hands. Not any event or circumstance can take me out of your hands because you put me there and you are 100% perfect..there is no shifting with you..I can trust you. I rejoice in you Emmanuel for you have come to me!!

  2. I’m going to begin with #3. Before I do that I just have to tell you that my worship at church was deeper this morning because, I believe, I began my morning meditating on Emmanuel These are the thoughts placed in my mind after I viewed the video.

    Thirty pieces of silver, as grey as an overcast sky, bought betrayal.
    Your Word, written in eternity, foretold the moment.
    Willingly you went as the Sacrificial Lamb and paid the price for atonement.
    O come-Emmanuel-God with me.
    Fill my heart with your Love.
    I want to know you.

  3. That was an awesome video to go with the song. The picture of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ followed by His return for us is beyond words for me.

  4. Right now I thirst for Jesus because, while I know that He is with me in the Holy Spirit, I want to see Him, touch Him and talk to Him. I have to admit that much of my desire is born of wanting to escape difficulties and disappointments in life. It is so hard for me to get my eyes off of my surroundings and onto Him. I know my failures and feel powerless to change. I pray and see answers in other areas but not in my family. Actually as I type this I have to admit that I could pray more for my husband. I am angry with him and almost every day my anger is fueled. I have to repent and I do but then I find that I have not really. I just don’t understand why I can’t get victory over this. I welcome any wisdom that anyone has to share and I am so grateful for your prayers.

    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.

    Oh Lord, You know that I am surrounded by gloomy clouds of night right now. Even death’s dark shadows haunt me. I know that in reality they have no power over me. I am free in You, Day-spring of life. I rejoice in Your advent here 2000 years ago, in Your presence now to cheer and Your second advent that I so look forward to. Please forgive me for prayerlessness, lack of love and even anger. Please show me how to pray for my husband. Amen

  5. Prayer request..I had the stomach flu last night, but I feel better this morning after throwing up..Not to be gross or anything, but my husband for some reason is unable to throw up..He just had dry heaves all night last night.. He called and told me he has excruciating pain in his stomach so bad like when he had to have his appendix out. He doesn’t sense that it is normal. Usually he just throws up and it is over with..He drove himself to the ER this morning. Pray he would be o.k. and this is just a really bad bout of this flu. Oh and PRAISE GOD I feel a lot better this morning. I still feel achy but not to where I can’t function like yesterday and last night so I can take care of my husband today. Thanks ladies!!

    1. Prayed for ya Rebecca!

      1. Thanks my sweet sisters for praying and caring so much! 🙂 I knew you all would be praying.. Things are getting better and I can’t wait to watch this video… I tried this morning but was interrupted. In the meantime I sure am being encouraged by your posts!!

        Tammy, your worshipful response to God was echoing my heart’s desire and I felt right there with you, and Anne your transparency and as Dee said, how you laid your heart out before God was a comfort to me.

        I look forward to watching the video and hearing what God wants to reveal to me this week!

    1. He came riding out of the clouds of gloom, galloping as fast as the horse could go, hair flying. It was such a wonderful picture. As soon as the Father says it is time…

      Then there is the water, Day-spring perhaps? Living water or the River of Life?

      Dee, I thank you also for this prayer. I have been so anxious lately. I could barely eat today, but by 4 I was actually hungry. Thank you. I don’t know what is going on with me.

  6. Dee, i really needed your prayer in regard to dispersing the clouds of gloom… Thanks so much. 🙂

    1. Amen to that! I needed that encouragement too. I was dreading Advent; yet now, I feel the Lord reaching out to me through this study.

  7. On the drive home, I heard an acapella version of O Come O Come Emmanuel by Haven. Had I not read the blog yesterday I would not have had my ears tuned to listen close. The phrase ‘ransom captive Israel’ is the one that is stuck in my mind. I came across something David said at the end of his life this morning-‘…who has redeemed my life from every distress.’ (1 Kings 1:29) Until I bowed to the full authority of Christ I was held captive not just to my sin but the sin of others. No matter what is now going on my life I’m free inwardly and no one can take that away from me. I know in this verse David was talking about the trouble he had seen on every side. Some of his trouble he brought upon himself but God in his mercy delivered David (and has delivered me). At lunch I heard the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee discussing the potter’s field that the religious leaders purchased after Judas returned the thirty pieces of silver. He stated that Jesus the potter discards those who refuse to yield to his molding of their life. I had never heard that before and I thank God I have listened to his direction all these many months.

    I’m not alone anymore. I’ve been blessed with a six month old puppy. He was christened Meatball the day of his birth but I have added Eli as his middle name. He is bringing new joy into my life. He’s already enjoying my books. I read he chews on the corner. It’s good to be laughing so much again.

    1. How wonderful Tammy!

  8. O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
    An ensign of Thy people be;
    Before Thee rulers silent fall;
    All peoples on Thy mercy call.

    This comes from Isaiah. If I can I will try to find it in my BSF notes when I get home tonight. Somewhere in the first 10 or 15 chapters I think.

    1. Isaiah 11:1 says, Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. Verse 10&11 say, On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner (ensign) for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His resting place will be glorious. On that day the Lord will extend His hand a second time to recover from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coasts and islands of the west the remnant of His people who survive. All peoples (the nations) on Thy mercy fall. I can’t find the reference to rulers falling silent before Him but I know it is in there at least once. 14:9,10 is an ironic picture of the kings of the earth greeting the king of Babylon in sheol.

      I love this verse because it highlights the glorious reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth as prophesied so beautifully in Isaiah.

      Come Lord Jesus, come.

      1. I want to add to Anne’s thoughts something I read in Lockyer’s All the Divine Names and Titles.

        ‘When Isaiah described the coming Messiah as A Root Of Jesse, he used the same word as the “rod” and “branch” growing from the root. “The new root of the fallen tree of Jesse is to grow up like a stately palm, seen afar off upon the heights of the ‘holy mountain,’ a signal round which the distant nations might rally as their centre.”….by the time of Christ, the line of Jesse had fallen into poverty and obscurity, yet there sprouted from the decayed or fallen, a royal descendant to reign over the Gentiles (Job 14:7). Obed, the father of Jesse, had mingled blood of Jew and Gentile in his veins, his father Boaz, being a Jew and his mother, Ruth, a Moabitess.
        Thus, although the Messiah, the root of Jesse, was born of a Jewish mother, and born and recognized as a Jew from the tribe of Judah, yet because of His human descent from Obed and Jesse, He likewise had the same mingled blood, just as Timothy had. Thus, the Messiah is the rallying point for both Jew and Gentile, for He is no respecter of persons, and in Him is neither Jew nor Gentile.’

        1. There is also mention of the stump of Jesse which I think refers to the divided kingdom. What you say here Tammy about Obed being of mixed heritage has me thinking. Did the Lord take the tragedy of the division of the kingdom and bring about our inclusion as gentiles under the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ? I want to think more about that but have to go for now.

        2. Interesting thought.I can’t remember if it was after the division that some of the Jews intermarried and became Samaritians. Since everything was planned in eternity Jesus foreknew that his nation would reject the gospel and at the appointed time the responsibility of the gospel was given to the Gentiles. The way I understand it the Jews in the OT era were suppose to be sharing the truth of God with the Gentiles. We Gentiles were meant to be included.

  9. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
    Who orderest all things mightily;
    To us the path of knowledge show,
    And teach us in her ways to go.

    This section is the part that has my attention the most right now. I keep thinking about how easily we can have a sense of the wisdom of the Lord in what to do…. but how it so often takes real courage to walk in the path of that knowledge. It is like we ask and ask, and are told and told… but just don’t always treasure the wisdom we were given.

    In the video, I felt stirred in a very similar way. I kept noticing how the voices often sang as a group, working together in harmony and that was used to fully emphasize the ‘REJOICE’. Yet the lone singer was able to fully express the longings of her heart. For awhile, she sang and released the depths of her longing…. but again the group rang true with a reminder to ‘REJOICE’. After that it seems the longing of the one shifts from pure desperation to more of a hopeful cry.

    I was watching the pictures of the crucifixion, and thinking about how that moment in history stands as the greatest example of a very cruel and difficult season that appeared to be hopeless…. until the full meaning of the journey unfolded itself. When it unfolded, the story changed to the greatest of rescues that man has ever known. Perhaps, even when the storms of life close in…. I ought to remember to follow the ways of knowledge. Lean more upon the wisdom I’d heard along the way and spend more time listening to those voices that help remind me to ‘REJOICE’.

    1. Amber, I love your contrast of the hopelessness and oppression of that time in Israel’s history actually being their time of visitation and redemption.

  10. I have always loved the haunting melody of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. There is something about the tune that makes me want to draw closer. Even though I am asking Him to come, the melody seems to pull me closer. In my mind’s eye, I can see myself walking closer to the stable where the Babe lies in the manger. One year, our church had set up a labyrinth (used for meditation) in the basement. The ceiling lights were dimmed and there were candles lit around the perimeter of the labyrinth. A cross was placed in the center of the labyrinth, and a CD was playing of traditional Advent songs, it sounded perhaps like monks singing, very revernt and ethereal. It was so peaceful–a contrast to the frenzied outside world of Christmas shopping, baking, run-run-run. It really helped me to slow down and focus. Prior to that, I had not thought of Christmas and Easter together, but with the Cross there in the center of my walk, as I slowly walked the winding path of the labyrinth listening to the Advent songs, it kind of brought it all together for me. I especially love O Come, O Come Emmanuel this year as I feel a captive to my loss and sorrow and I need to be ransomed. Advent is a time of waiting. Preparing. I need to prepare myself for when the Savior loosens these chains from me. I was told in the Bible study I am involved in that God is present in rejoicing. It is with hope that I sing out, “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you…”

    1. I will lift your mission up in prayer. As you minister in your own way to these folks, may they also minister in some way to you. Have a safe and blessed trip.

    2. I lift you up in prayer, Dee for traveling mercies to OH and back and for the three day/evening tea’s to go well and to quickened and filled with the spirit! Please help Dee to to alert and kept so invigorated that she doesn’t get sleepy during the evenings at all, but to also get plenty of rest. I pray in Jesus name

      1. Dee, Will be praying with everyone here for you! 🙂

  11. I am listening to the song over and over. I can’t bear most other Christmas songs. This verse is on my mind right now.

    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.

    Lord Jesus I worship You. Leaving Your heavenly home with Your Father You took on flesh and came to dwell with us walking dusty miles and sleeping on the ground, the Light of Heaven lit the hearts of men. They walked with You, ate with You, revealed their sinful hearts to You and You loved them! You paid for them and for me the price we could not pay and live. How marvelous the sight of empty crosses from the tomb. It is finished! You have opened wide our heavenly home. Rejoice! Rejoice! Oh do make safe our way home and keep us from the path to misery. May we bring all with us. Set our hearts on fire for the lost among us!

    1. Oh yes, I pray this also with you, Anne. Thank you

    2. I can relate to your statement, “I can’t bear most other Christmas songs.” Right now, I can’t either and my family and friends have grown tired of my grief. I have grown tired of my grief. I wonder how I could have missed this verse you mentioned. Somehow I had overlooked it. Right now, this song of longing speaks to my heart. Yes please, come Emmanuel. Ransome us, ransome me, ransome all of us who are in misery. I live for the hope of rejoicing fully. Perhaps in this Advent God is preparing my heart. “Preparing” is the word my mind is thinking on at the moment.

      1. Lord I pray that You will help Deb to be patient with herself. Her pain is so deep. Walk closely with her Lord and minister to her as only the One who knows her fully can. Reveal to her things that will bring joy even in her sadness. May her walk through this valley bring her closer to Your heart Lord. In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, amen.

    3. I am amazed when we come together in our thoughts. I too have been meditating on this verse thinking upon the word key. A key unlocks and gives access. The righteousness of Christ gives us access to the throne of God. I also think that the Key of David could be a reference to the Holy Spirit. Just a thought that came to mind as I read the post.

      1. Because He directs our path. Comforter. Counselor. Key is mentioned in Revelation.

        I too am amazed. How wonderful it is to study like this. In a face to face study you always have time constraints so you can’t toss ideas back and forth as we can here. We are blessed.

        1. We surely are!

      2. Just looked up the Greek word for ‘key’. My NT word study dictionary tells me that the “key of David”(Rev. 3:7) alludes to the promise made to Eliakim (Is.22:22) and signifies the unlimited power of Christ in His household, the Church.

        1. That is just where we were this week in the Isaiah study! I will look at it as soon as I can. Thanks Tammy

  12. 2. As I meditate on Martin French’s drawing I am impressed with His face first of all. His expression is frightening. I thought long about why His left hand is raised so and I think it is commanding. His sword is ready in His right hand. He is dressed for battle not as merely a warrior but one of royalty I think. There is no clear definition between the horse and rider. I think they are one in purpose and the horse is flying.

    I am reminded of a song that I love. My Deliver written by Rich Mullins but produced after his death. I found this version of it on you tube. Not all of the artwork is good and there are some graphic portions but much of it inspired me, especially the verses of scripture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac4GnpqXQAQ

    I have so enjoyed this week’s study. I would love to keep going tonight but I have to get up at 3am. Good night dear sisters.

    Praying for you and your family Rebecca.

    1. Anne, That youtube video made me weep all through it. There is so much pain and suffering in the world today. I am so thankful that, My Deliverer is coming, Oh Praise God he is. Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel!

      1. I’m sorry Joyce. I wanted to share the song but not the sadness right now.

        1. Oh no, don’t feel bad about that….I loved it!

  13. #4. I went searching through my Bible this morning for the verses that speak of the names of Jesus in O Come O Come Emmaunel, and here is what I found.

    O come, O come, Emmanuel

    Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

    Matthew 1:23 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God with us'”.

    Until the Son of God appear

    John 1:14 “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

    O come, Thou Wisdom from on high

    Jeremiah 10:12 “But God made the earth by His power, He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.”

    Romans 11:13 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgements and His paths beyong tracing out.

    O come, Thou Rod of Jesse

    Isaiah 11:1 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”

    Isaiah 11:10 “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples, the nations will rally to Him and His place of rest will be glorious.”

    O come, Thou Day-spring

    Luke 1:78 in the KJV “Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.”

    O come, Thou Key of David

    Isaiah 22:22 “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David” (speaking of Eliakim)

    Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

    Revelation 3:17 “These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.”

    O come, O come, great Lord of might

    Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty” (El Shaddai)”.

    And be Thyself our King of Peace

    Isaiah 9:6 “…and He will be called….Prince of Peace.”

  14. I found the last one I was looking for!

    O come, Desire of nations

    Haggai 2:7 in the KJV

    “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.”

    1. Wow! Good detective work 🙂

  15. When I look at the painting by Martin French, I think of my hero coming for me – kind of like my knight in shining armor on a white horse – and His raised hand is as if so I can distinguish who He is; this is Jesus, He bears the marks of the nails on His hands, and one hand is raised in the air that I might recognize that it is Him. And my name is also engraved on His hand because I am His!

    1. Thank you, Susan so much for digging deeper for all the other names used for Jesus in this carol. You helped me get through it and made my study complete this morning. I love your impression of Martin French’s drawing also. When I think of him coming for me and I am his, I feel such joy and antisipation!

      Bless you, Dee as you start your 3 day journey!

    2. I love your post with the thought of Jesus as my knight in shining armor. This post has blessed me immensely!

  16. I think God is telling me to be quiet and learn from the wisdom He is giving you all, and that I am!

    1. Is everyone better at your house Rebecca?

      1. Anne, Yes! I am thankful for good health!! I couldn’t imagine feeling like that all the time, but I am sure there are people who do. I thought of that the other day how thankful for recovery I was yet how sorry I felt for those who have cancer or other illness’ who feel like that for extended periods of time.

  17. I’ve been saturating myself with “O come, O come, Emmanuel” this week — and it’s getting even more difficult to pick out only two verses. I’ve been struck by the depth and extent of the darkness during that long period of waiting before Christ’s birth. During the darkness, so many forgot the hope of His coming; yet some remained faithful. I’ve also neglected the season of Advent. This year, the Advent season has new meaning as I remember how my Mom made Advent so meaningful for our whole family. Developing a better understanding of that darkness prior to Jesus birth has given me the context to long for His appearing. I’ll be listening to this hymn over and over during the next month (haven’t closed out the YouTube screen this week!). Dee, thanks for pointing out that it is a lament. That explains why it is so comforting. I’m still letting the verses seep in through my senses. Although a few of the verses are particularly meaningful, I’m not quite at the “describe how/why point yet.”

    I appreciate what all of you have been posting. I’m reading even though I haven’t been posting.

  18. I am still looking at the drawing, especially the raised hand. Someone made a good point about the scar. I wonder if His hand is raised also as proof of His claim. The ransom is paid. He has the right of redemption.

    1. Excellent thoughts. I am going to ponder this too. Thank you!

  19. I am still thinking about the picture and the Lord Jesus Christ’s right of redemption. I wonder if redemption could have been provided in some easier way than the terrible sacrifice of Christ. But if it had would it have been in the character of God. Would it have been the rock solid RIGHTEOUSNESS of God? I am in awe of the power of that raised hand. Compare it to the statue of Satan in our you tube video. Defeated, that’s what he is.

  20. He has a sword in his right hand and it is down and ready and his left is raised..hmmmm..It seems the painting is kind of chaotic around him making it like it is a flash or He comes suddenly with a brilliant light shining through Him, yet we see the humble man portrayed as well with the beard, the humble way his clothes are portrayed yet with strength..He is royalty but not in the way we see royalty with all the jewels and material extravagance..Jesus has a crown..He is King-but not the kinds of Kings we create..His facial expression is determined..He is strong. There is much strength portrayed in this as well.

  21. When I first looked at French’s drawing I too noticed the raised scarred left hand and immediately thought of the word strength. I’ve been pondering these past few days how much of His strength I need to live in my reality. I use that word because alot of people I know refuse to face their realities. I’ve been thinking of how much strength each one of us needs to carry out our daily tasks. Joyce and Rebecca are home taking care of their respective families. Anne works at the hospital and is in the face of pain on a regular basis. Deb needs so much strength to want to face each new day. I need strength to keep a guard over my tongue so I will respond with kindness and not rudeness when I deal with difficult people. Dee needs much strength to minister to so many hurting people in various ways. Susan needs strength as she takes care of her parents and family. Renee needs strength as she faces the first Christmas without her mom. When I saw that raised hand I thanked Jesus that He alone is my strength. The strength needed to continue walking on this earth comes only from Jesus. I thought of the knight in shining armor when I saw the end of the video. A knight in shining armor doesn’t just rescues-he fights for the one in distress. The sword represents the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word and (my paraphrase) at the end the Word will speak the words to defeat (once and for all) His enemies and THEN we will live happily forever and forever and forever.

    1. Tammy, Yes, He is our strength!! What great, encouraging words….

      1. What I was thinking, too 🙂 Thanks, Tammy, for such an encouraging posting.

    2. Great post Tammy. The sword is the Word. Yes, and He is our strength. He will be with us in all that we face. That is the glorious truth!

    3. Tammy, you summed it all up so well!

    4. Tammy,
      I agree with Joyce, that you made an excellent summary!
      I am touched that you remembered all the struggles each of us is facing, and how you point out that we so much need strength, the strength of Jesus, and how that is portrayed in that painting.

      Actually, yesterday morning, I was up very early and reading the passage in Revelation and thinking about the painting.
      My phone rang at 6:30, and it was my sister telling me that my dad was on his way to the ER. I had that initial feeling of fear in my stomach, and on the way to the hospital, I kept thinking of that strong portrayal of Jesus. I knew God could take care of my dad.

      Dad was admitted, awaiting tests today. He has some kind of a GI bleed, so probably a colonoscopy to be done today. He’s not in any pain or feeling sick at all. One of his blood tests for kidney function is slightly elevated, which concerns me due to his only having one kidney.

      Your last sentence of your post about Him speaking the words to defeat once and for all His enemies – A Mighty Fortress – which we studied in the past says, “One little word will fell him!”

      Thank you for telling us the sword represents the Word of God.
      Jesus doesn’t need a real sword, He only needs to speak, and it is done; just like in Genesis when God said let there be light, there was light!

      1. Dear, Dear Susan, My heart goes out to you for your dad. I will be praying for him to get better very, very soon.

  22. 5. My take away this week is that even the deepest inexpressible longing of my heart is answered in Christ Jesus. He exceeds all I have ever desired or hoped for. At times I transcend earthly, tangible things and realize His presence in me. Then I feel the warmth of heaven on my face.

    As I work here on this last question I see the last verse of our song above it in my word document. It is remarkable not only because of what it means to us but I think also because of what it means to God. This is the desire of His heart I believe.

    O come, Desire of nations, bind
    In one the hearts of all mankind;
    Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
    And be Thyself our King of Peace.

  23. 5. My takeaway from this first week of Advent is found in the words of Paul in Philippians 2:2, “fulfilling my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

    I have witnessed God’s Spirit move among us this week and it has been incredible! The question asked me the other day in a devotional from the Psalms was, ‘what are you expecting this Christmas season?’. In the past, my expectations were really pretty low because I had the focus on what I was getting. I’m beginning to see that I have expecting Jesus for a long, long time. He came to me this week in the way I have been longing for all along, as my Eternal Friend. I did not even realize this was such a deep need of my soul until I read the following prayer by George Mueller. He wrote it at the age of ninety-two after his beloved wife of sixty-two years and five months had stepped into eternity.

    “Lord Jesus, I am alone. Yet I am not alone, for You are with me and are my Friend. Now Lord, please comfort me, strengthen me, and give to Your poor servant everything that You see I need.”

    I have in my hand an answer to a prayer I shared with Jesus back in the spring. I had asked him to teach me how to properly love him. He has been answering the prayer in various ways, but when I saw the title of this book, Intimate Moments with the Savior: Learning to Love by Ken Gire (a friend of Dr. Charles Swindoll) I knew it was for me. What is funny to me is I found it in a used clothing boutique here in town. I have wanting to get a skirt so when I saw the thirty percent off sale sign I was ‘moved’ to stop. The book has seventeen intimate moments with NT characters. Three of these are devoted to Peter. Each portion has scripture, meditation, and a prayer. This is one of those books I will savor for years to come.

    1. Guess what the title of morning sermon was? Yes. That’s right. Immanuel-God With Us. At the end of service everyone was given a pin that says Merry Christmas God With Us. I love how God’s Word has flowed from Sunday to Sunday.

      1. Very cool, Tammy 🙂 God definitely has/is the big picture!

  24. My take away..The strength portrayed in the picture and His coming back to rescue us from death, sin, injustice, oppression..HOPE..We can rest in Him..We shouldn’t be living as if we have no Hope for we do! Yes the miracle of the birth of Jesus is to be celebrated but it means so much more than that.. As the overflow flows out of me, I am passing this on to my boys-that is how God is using this in my life this week. 🙂

  25. So much has happened today and yesterday. I should have shared it as it happened but now it would take a book. I try not to talk too much but now I think I was wrong not to share it. But God has again been enough and more than faithful. I do want to share this verse because it goes with our drawing so well.
    Isaiah 27:1
    On that day the Lord with His harsh, great, and strong sword, will bring judgment on Leviathan, the fleeing serpent-Leviathan, the twisting serpent. He will slay the monster that is in the sea.
    Then it goes on to the song of the Lord’s vineyard which is my study tonight.
    Have a blessed Sunday.

    1. Anne, Thank you fpr sharing that verse, it does go well with the drawing.

      I’d like to share this song from youtube: “Where’s the line to see Jesus?” by Becky Kelly. Both 1st two versions are good.

  26. I’ve been hesitant to post my take-away for the week (and I’m still hesitant) because it’s going to sound flippant (I’ll explain why it’s not!). My take-away is “O come, O come, Emmanuel.” That response isn’t as quick and easy as it seems. Because of my work and training, I’ve become VERY analytical (and I think earlier in life, I emphasized the logical and analytical as a form of self-protection). I’m in the middle of a few projects that require heavy-duty “connecting the dots” and have become so aware that almost every other area of my life is deprived when I’m buried in certain types of work.

    “O come, O come, Emmanuel” means that God is with me, His Spirit indwells me & connects with my spirit. I am experiencing the message of Advent and long for Him even more. I can rest in Him, knowing He is victorious.

  27. Thanks for this post. I wrote about the hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel on my blog site “Free Ride,” yesterday and if anyone is interested they can check it out at http://inourelements.com/3-free-ride/freedom-in-the-air
    Stan Dotson