18 December 2014

O Adonai

(Recycled/expanded from two years ago, because I want to try to post about all of the O Antiphons again this year but am too tired/stressed/busy to be original. Sorry!)

O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

I don't think this has struck me in past years, but today, that very last part of the Antiphon has really caught my attention. "...come and redeem us with outstretched arms." What an image those words evoke! Two different "types" of outstretched arms come to mind as I read that: a priest or bishop stretching out his arms to give a blessing, and a parent opening their arms to embrace a child. In His great gift of redemption, God reaches out to us in both ways. He showers us with grace and blessings, and draws us to Himself.

Today's verse from the hymn is a bit less exact a transliteration of the Antiphon than yesterday's was, but the sense is still there: come, mighty ruler and lawgiver, majestic beyond our comprehension! Come, lord who spoke through fire and cloud, at once ruler and ransomer of your people.

O come, O come Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times didst give the law
In could and majesty and awe.
Rejoice, rejoice; Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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