The song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” asks Emmanuel, who we learned about last week, to come and “ransom captive Israel.” Who is captive Israel, and why does he (or they?) need to be ransomed? The song goes on to say that Israel “mourns in lonely exile” here. Why is Israel mourning, and what does all this have to do with Christmas, anyway? Pastor Luke teaches from Isaiah 35 in “Ransom Captive Israel,” part 2 of his 4-part series “O Come, Emmanuel.”
Long before there was Mary and Joseph, there was another Joseph: Joseph the Patriarch. He grew up herding sheep, but he would go on to be chief of staff for the most powerful king in the ancient world. Joseph’s family was a mess, with twelve murderous brothers, four mothers, and a dad who was a notorious con artist. But they became the twelve tribes of Israel. What happened? How was God working in their lives?