Emmanuel God is with us!

Reflection by Sister Julie Weckworth, cssf
O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your law.  Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us. Exodus 3:2: "An angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush.  As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed". Exodus 6:6: "Therefore say to the Israelites: I am Yahweh.  I will free you from the enforced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery.  I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment". "Adonai" is Hebrew for "my Lord", and was substituted by devout Jews for the name "Yahweh", out of reverence.  With this second antiphon we progress from creation to the familiar story of God manifesting himself by name to Moses and giving his law to Israel as their way of life.  We are also reminded of the Israelites' deliverance from bondage under pharaoh - a foreshadowing of our own redemption from sin.  The image of God's arm outstretched in power to save his chosen people also brings to mind the later scene of Jesus with his arms outstretched for us on the cross.   (c) 2000 Jeanne Kun

O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your law. Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us.
Exodus 3:2: “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed”.
Exodus 6:6: “Therefore say to the Israelites: I am Yahweh. I will free you from the enforced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment”.
“Adonai” is Hebrew for “my Lord”, and was substituted by devout Jews for the name “Yahweh”, out of reverence. With this second antiphon we progress from creation to the familiar story of God manifesting himself by name to Moses and giving his law to Israel as their way of life. We are also reminded of the Israelites’ deliverance from bondage under pharaoh – a foreshadowing of our own redemption from sin. The image of God’s arm outstretched in power to save his chosen people also brings to mind the later scene of Jesus with his arms outstretched for us on the cross.
(c) 2000 Jeanne Kun

“Behold the Virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name Him, Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Here in this very first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, today’s Gospel, the Virgin Mary is not only “full of grace” but “full of God!”

Advent has been a deeply personal experience for my family, because our paternal grandmother’s name was Kathryn Emmanuel. Her name has longed served as a poignant reminder for us that “God is with us.” (Did I mention, that here in Chicago, our Mayor’s name is Rahm Emanuel {sic})?

In a larger, deeper sense the name, God with us, obviously belongs to all believers, to countless Christians down through the ages. And still, Advent does at times make us somewhat schizophrenic, in the sense that we are dealing with the God who is already here …and in another sense we speak and sing of His coming, soon and very soon! That “already and not dynamic” has long been with us. There is the understanding that there was one Incarnation and all the rest of our Christmases are anniversaries! That same Emmanuel we sing of has also come to “ransom Israel.” The prophets long spoke of Israel in its bondage and eventually of the redemption that the Lord performed on their behalf to restore them to Zion. We also understand that although Israel was physically restored out of captivity, back to her own land, she remained in spiritual exile. There is a four century long silence after the Hebrew Scriptures “until the Son of God appears.”

I believe that each of us has had a parallel experience of that spiritual exile, wherein we know in our hearts, that now, today, Emmanuel must come to ransom us individually as well as to ransom our country from its cultural bondage. That same Emmanuel that, God with us, needs to free us, once again, from spiritual exile. We, along with our Jewish brothers and sisters, are longing for the final fulfillment of all God’s promises, especially in that Second Coming, when God will be fully and forevermore with us!

 

Advertisements
Categories: Believe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: