Come to the One Whom the World Desires

The great Advent Hymn says, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” It expresses a longing we have that things be made right (which can only happen when God makes things right through the agency of his Son, the Anointed One). One of the stanzas of this great hymn gets to the heart of this longing when it says, “O Come, Desire of nations, bind / In one the hearts of all mankind; / Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, / And be Thyself our King of Peace.”

The kontakion (similar to a “collect” or a hymn of the day) for the Feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30) takes these very same themes and turns them on their head. Speaking of Andrew, it says, “As he once called to his brother, he now cries to us, ‘Come, for we have found the One whom the world desires.'”

There is a deep longing, an insatiable desire in the human heart for someone to come and fix the mess. But such a sentiment is possibly quite backward, for it is he who invites us to “come and see” (John 1:39), not the other way around. The fix is there as long as we understand which party needs to come to whom in order for those desires to be sated.