Advent in Church and Cultural Tradition
- Thursday, December 01, 2011
O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
O Flower of Jesse's stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; rulers stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
O Key of David, O royal power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and lead your captive people into freedom.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
O Ruler of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart, O keystone of the mighty arch of humankind: Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
O Emmanuel, ruler and lawgiver, desire of the nations, savior of all people: Come and set us free, Lord our God.
On December 21, the church remembers St. Thomas, the apostle famously known as Doubting Thomas for his refusal to believe in Jesus' resurrection until he had fingered the nail marks and felt the spear wound. After Jesus graciously accommodated his doubt, Thomas declared, "My Lord and my God!"(John 20:28). According to tradition, he is credited with taking the light of the gospel to India. As his feast day falls in the week of the "O" Antiphons, these meditative prayers can be for us affirmations of faith and longing in the face of doubts that we, like Thomas, may experience.
Taken from Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross. Copyright(c) 2009 by Bobby Gross. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press PO Box 1400 Downers Grove IL 60515. www.ivpress.com.
Bobby Gross is director of graduate and faculty ministries for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Bobby also serves on the national board of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and lives in Atlanta, GA.
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