Yearning for the Final Visitation

Living in the interadvental season between the Already and the Not-Yet, between our Lord’s First Coming and his Second Coming, we enjoy a taste of the blessings of the New Covenant and the Kingdom of Heaven with their inauguration, and yet we yearn like ancient Israel for the consummation of these things.

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them,” declares the Lord. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:6-13 (ESV)

Oh, how our sojourning souls do (or ought to) long for the day when God is with us indeed! Let us yearn for the great and final visitation by the Judge of all the earth when God and the Lamb are in our midst and we are in theirs in the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem. This is the spirit of an Advent Heart.

O come, O come, Immanuel
Translator: John Mason Neale (1851)
Tune: Veni Emmanuel (Chant)

Verse 1.
O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 2.
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 3.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 4.
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 5.
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 6.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Verse 7.
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

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