We first meet the name Emmanuel in the book of the prophet Isaiah (7:10-14). Here it is the name given to the son soon to be born, a sign to Ahaz, the Davidic king, that he has no need to fear the imminent threat posed by the advancing Syrian army. God was with the king, and would not let Jerusalem be overcome or the Davidic king be overthrown.

Several centuries later, the evangelist Matthew cites this same text from Isaiah with reference to the miraculous birth of Jesus (Matt 1:18-23). Like Ahaz before him, Joseph, son of David, has no need to fear. Mary has conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit and will bear a son. Joseph is to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. He is Emmanuel, God with us.

At the end of the Gospel, the Risen Jesus gives this same assurance when sending out his disciples to all nations. "Know that I—Emmanuel-- am with you always even until the end of time" (Matt 28:20).

Come, Emmanuel,

Long awaited Mesiah, King of the Jews, yet acclaimed by the Gentiles from afar. Come, that our waiting, our searching, may be fulfilled in your Presence.

Come, Emmanuel, Come and save us from all That threatens to destroy us. Come with the assurance that You our God are with us. We have no need to fear.

Come, Emmanuel, Giver of the new law that fulfils And indeed goes beyond that of old. Come, speak your Word to us That with listening hearts, we may hear and obey.

Come, Emmanuel, Savior of the World. Come anew to a world that so desperately needs a Savior. Come to a world torn by war, To countries devastated by hunger, disease and poverty, To nations where rulers no longer shepherd their people. Come and save us from the injustices in whose face we feel powerless., From the wrongs we took no steps to right. Come and save us from all that threatens to destroy us.

Come, Emmanuel,