Archive for December 18, 2005

Advent – December 18

December 18, 2005 Leave a comment

December 18 – O Adonai
O Adonai: “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.”

There is a certain giddiness hanging in the air. Like sweet snowflakes magically transforming our barren lawn, a gentle hopefulness drifts to earth revealing the possibilities of love.

Inside, the house glows in gentle warmth of Christmas lights. They play around the tree, bouncing rays from branches to baubles. The room seems to giggle in delight. Gazing into the glory of this momentary spectacle, we see another tree, another bush that blazed with the light of His glory. Out from the flames of that bush came the Word of freedom for His people.

Wandering no where, the deliverer from no place, meets the God with no name. “I Am that I Am” blazes out from the bush, inviting Moses into the fire of Holy Fear.

The Lord speaks and His Word does not fail. Tyrants falter; empires crumble, and the weak walk free to the place of promise.

Freedom comes like fire from heaven, burning up the chains that enslave, encircling the soul in a divine dance of love.

Like the Hebrews slaves we know the crippling impact of taskmasters who beat and crush and oppress us. We falter and founder under the weight of unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, jealousy, lust, anger, and pride.

Gazing back through the star lighting our tree, we see another star blazing with the light from the infant below. Baby Jesus burns with the holy fire of the Spirit’s love. The Word of freedom made flesh brings the blazing love of heaven to burn up the chains of bondage and breathe light and life to the person.

A certain giddiness hangs in the air. We know a secret. Bethlehem is but the beginning a glorious journey that leads us higher and higher into freedom. Freedom to love. Freedom to give. Freedom to rejoice. Freedom to dance. Freedom to sing. Freedom to gaze upon and worship the Lord of glory.

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Advent – December 17

December 18, 2005 Leave a comment

December 17 – O Sapientia
“O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims his handiwork.”
Psalm 19:1

Everywhere the psalmist looks, he beholds the handprints of God. The rocks really do cry out, “Glory!” The world reverberates with the radiating glory of God’s unfailing love.

In spite of such all-encompassing love, we stumble blindly and curse the light as though it was darkness. Our proclamations of peace flow from hearts of violence. We know the rippling effects of chaos that tear through the heart of all things. As Bob Dylan says, “Everything is Broken.” From broken hearts to broken families to broken countries, we are hurt, and we hurt.

Every cruel word gives plants seed of pain that produces the fruit of cruelty. We long for companions and then we hurt those same companions through selfish acts and words. We long from acceptance but fail to accept others. Life seems to be an endless cycle of pain between humans. The heart aches for salvation.

Into this heart of darkness, shines the light of hope. The Word of the Father, sustaining all things, is made flesh and dwells among us in a frail, baby. The way of Salvation is the way weakness, of frailty, of risk, of humiliation. The way of Salvation comes by the way of death.

He becomes weak, so that we might become strong. He becomes sin so that we might become sinless. He is humbled, so that we might be exalted.

He is born as babe in the manger, so that we might be born as a child of the kingdom.

Into the chaos of creation comes the harmony of God. He bears the breach and reverberates healing love into all things. By His Word of Salvation, the Father calls us into the light, filling us with light and revealing the blinding glory of His radiating love in the heavens above and the earth below.

Come let us behold Him. The Word of God, the hope of humanity, the Savior of the world.

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Advent – December 16

December 18, 2005 Leave a comment

O Antiphons – December 16
We live in response to the resounding Word of God. His earth-shaping voice
shakes creation with the awful danger of unconquerable life. Our yearning
for the complete revealing of Jesus Christ, is merely a response to His
battering waves of love.

Tomorrow, our advent journey intensifies this call and response to the
Creator’s voice. Tomorrow begins seven days of “O Antiphons.” Antiphon
literally means “sounding against” and it calls to mind the alternating call
and response of the liturgy. The liturgy is but a formal recognition of our
human calling to take part in the grand call and response between heaven and

For seven days, we cry out for the coming Messiah.
O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
O Adonai (O Lord)
O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
O Clavis David (O Key of David)
O Oriens (O Rising Sun)
O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
O Emmanuel (O God with Us)

Each day reveals yet another glorious title of the world’s only Savior. Each
day the intensity of longing builds for the appearance of the coming King.
When he finally comes, the world is scandalized. “For unto a child is born,
and unto us a son is given…”

The shocking fleshly, particularity of the Incarnation topples the towers of
the world’s wisdom. The Word that created the world now coos in the arms of
the virgin Mary. Only fools can proceed to this stable. Holy fools that is.
The powerful are angry, the wise mock, the worldly turn away in disgust. But
the holy fool walks up to the manger, like a humble servant approaching the

Come all you holy fools and join this motley throng as we respond to call of
God and worship the baby who is “God with us.”

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