For over a thousand years, Christians have sung the O Antiphons in the days leading up to Christmas. Together they comprise a hymn that centers our attention on the glories of Advent and the Incarnation.
From the 17th to the 23rd, we will be sharing the day’s verse along with a short meditation by members of the Colson Center staff.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
I once heard a music expert on National Public Radio extol the brilliance of Handel’s Messiah. “The soaring music takes one’s breath away” he said. “And the lyrics are majestic: ‘King of Kings, Lord of Lords.’ So appropriate for the musical score. ‘Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace.’ Magnificent!” he exclaimed. He seemed to have no idea the “lyrics” were the words of Scripture. And that the words are not merely magnificent, the words are true.
O King of all nations . . . The King of kings hasn’t abandoned his people. He hears their cry for deliverance. The eternal Sovereign steps from His throne and removes His crown to become fully human, a baby in a feed box, born to share our flesh and blood so He might die to save us from the penalties of our sin.
. . . keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust! The Creator stoops again to create humanity; not from the life-giving dust of the Garden but from the muck of rebellion and death. Born a second time, we “new creations” join as living stones to become the Church, secured by Him who is the capstone.
The NPR music expert was wowed by the genius of Handel’s Messiah, but the deeper truths are even more stunning. The soaring music and words tell the true story of God and man, heaven and earth. Their histories converge face to face for a time; from Advent to Ascension.
Now, enthroned again, the Lord does not shout, “Behave!” He cries out, “Behold!” He is making everything new (Revelation 21:5). Including us.
Dr. Bill Brown is the National Director of the Colson Fellows Program.
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