As I arranged the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” to include original piano with the familiar, haunting melody, this piece became the full expression of the darkness of this world, the longing of the human heart for a savior, and the rejoicing that comes when the good news is embraced. Isaiah foretold his birth (Isaiah 7:14). Luke recorded how the angel came down to the shepherds in the field the night of his birth (Luke 2:8-15). John wrote the last words he spoke before his death on the cross (“It is finished” – John 19:30). The opening and closing three muted strikes of a low E on the piano represent the nails going into the cross, the finished work. The music in between represents my desperate need of a savior and the rejoicing in God’s gift of salvation to me through Jesus.
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