O Come – Encouragement for Today – November 1, 2023

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Nancy DeMoss WolgemuthNovember 1, 2023

O Come

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"You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!" Psalm 80:1b-2 (ESV)

If you were to identify the No. 1 theme in Christmas carols, you'd find there's not even a close second.

The one-word answer? Come.

The word echoes through so many of those familiar lyrics:
"O come, O come, Emmanuel ..."
"Come, Thou long expected Jesus ..."
"Come to my heart, Lord Jesus ..."

This shouldn't surprise us - because "come" is the core meaning of the word "Advent." The Advent theme of Christ's coming reflects a centuries-long expression of yearning.

"Please, Lord, come!" This plaintive cry echoes throughout the Hebrew scriptures. As Psalm 80:1b-2 says, "You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!"

The Messiah had repeatedly been promised and prayed for. For hundreds of years, a roster of fringe candidates trotted themselves out as seeming possibilities. But they all came and went. That was the pattern: Come and go. Never come and stay. Never come and change things. Never come and save our lives from what others have done to us and what we have done to ourselves.

And yet "when the fullness of time had come," God the Father sent Jesus (Galatians 4:4, ESV, emphasis added). He came. And though the world was slow to realize His arrival, it soon became abundantly obvious, both to His friends and His enemies, that someone new was among them. Someone unlike any other. That's the reason for the shouts of praise at Jesus' triumphal entry, the blood-heavy cross of Good Friday, and the beyond-belief joy and amazement of Easter morning.

In fact, if any other single word can compete for prominence in the carols, it is "joy." But joy, when you drill down to its essence, is the result of His coming. The lyrics of those carols that most thrill us with joy are reminding us of how and why He came - and calling us to come as well:

"O come, all ye faithful ..."
"O come, let us adore Him ..."
"Come and worship, come and worship ..."

So the gospel of Christ's incarnation is also the gospel of invitation. In view of His coming and the fulfillment of His promise, we stand now in the light of His appearing, serving as shared communicators of His gospel message.

And thankfully, whenever we don't know exactly how to express what our salvation means, carolers from past generations provide us with help that never seems to grow old.

We can sing it. Let us sing today of His coming.

Lord, we praise You now for Your appearing, for Your coming to us. Not only did You recognize our truly desperate condition, but You stepped out of the safety of heaven directly into our danger. During this Advent season, as we worship You afresh, may the joy we receive become the joy we share so that others, too, may know of Your coming. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Carry songs - and Jesus - in your heart the whole Christmas season with Born a Child and Yet a King, an Advent devotional by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth that traces the gospel through familiar carols to help you deepen your intimacy with Jesus Christ.


Discover resources to help you thrive in Christ at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Born a Child and Yet a King by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. To celebrate this book, Nancy's publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, November 6, 2023.}


Psalm 79:8, "... let your compassion come speedily to meet us ..." (ESV).

Malachi 3:1b, "... behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts" (ESV).

How might you invite someone else to join you during this Advent season as you seek to receive all that the Lord has come to reveal to us in Christ?

© 2023 by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106