The Dark Ages (A.D. 450 – A.D. 1000) was a spiritually depressed age in history. The rise of the monastery replaced the function, ministry and witness of the local church. Professing Christians went in hiding and the light of the Gospel was not as prominent as it had grown to be during the persecutions and martyrdom of the early church. Darkness was spreading.
Darkness is a powerful force that only has one enemy: light. In John 1:5, Jesus is called “the Light” and described as one who “shines in the darkness” and the “darkness did not comprehend it.” The religious corruption in Jesus’ day cast a great darkness over the land, but the light of Jesus life and message would penetrate that darkness.
The Christmas carol “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” was written by a monk during the Dark Ages. We know nothing about it’s author, but we can assume He knew about Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as he refers often to fulfilled prophecy in the person of Jesus Christ.
The theme of the song is “God with us,” which is what the title “Emmanuel” means. When you are aware of God’s presence, there is hope and encouragement. Darkness is not scary, because Light will consume it.
O Come Thou Dayspring come and cheer/ our spirits by Thine Advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night/ and death’s dark shadows put to flight;
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.