O Come Emmanuel

Thinking Faith has been sharing a series of reflections on the O Antiphons this Advent. In a reflection on the last antiphon in the series—but the first in a popular Advent hymn—Frances Murphy writes of “O Emmanuel.” The traditional lyrics call, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.” Murphy writes: An exile is someone who is separated from the place they […]

Emmanuel, God with Us

A cherished memory from my childhood is the annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at my grandparents’ Methodist church. Every year my large family of many Christian denominations gathered here first before our family Christmas party. It was one of the rare occasions during the year we would all be at church together. We would fill multiple rows and all the cousins would scramble to sit next to each other during the service. We came dressed […]

Christmas Carols and Unexpected Grace

The other morning while running on a treadmill at the local gym, I was jarred out of my early morning daze by a line sung by Chanticler, a famous men’s a cappella group who were performing for the Today Show.  The line that stirred me was one I, like many of you, have heard and sung a hundred times or more: “”¦Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”¦” This familiar phrase from […]