December 18, 2021
O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the law on Mount Sinai. O come and stretch out your mighty hand to redeem us.
In the O Antiphons, the ancient song of waiting and expectation, the second title given to the Christ (or Light, or Love, if you prefer) is Adonai, the Hebrew word for Lord. “Lord” is not a title Americans are used to or even really appreciate because it sets someone higher than us, or apart from us, in this land of mythical equality. We don’t want to be beholden to a lord. Yet its meaning here holds much relevance for us today because we are in dire need of “someone higher than us,” any of us, to redeem us. Now.
Pandemic. Inflation. Division. Anger. Fear. Tornado. Fire. Destruction. Name it, and we are walking in the midst of it. This winter season of waiting is a time for us to acknowledge our human need for redemption from all the noise and turmoil around us and within us that threatens to drown us, a need so great that no president or priest can save us. We need THE Lord.
This antiphon is based on the story of Moses and the burning bush in the Old Testament. If we listen closely, we notice that the Lord did not come down and lead the people out of slavery, but the Lord indeed knew who would. Moses himself tried to squirm and shirk his way out of that calling even while the Lord was empowering Moses to do what needed to be done. And so God’s people were set free because of love, the love of the Lord and Moses’ love of the Lord and the Lord’s people.
I wonder this Advent where the Lord wants me to go, who the Lord wants me to assist, how the Lord wants to use me in setting others free. Yes, we need the mighty arm of Love to redeem us, and we are also invited to be willing vessels of that Love.
Prayer: In this long season of continuing darkness, pandemic, suspicion, division, fear, doubt, and anger, we call on you, O Adonai, to claim us and protect us. You have promised never to leave us alone, and you have called us to be your presence in this oft-broken world. Just as you empowered Moses to heed your call, so give us the eyes to see and the courage to go into the dark places where your Light most needs to shine. You are Love and love overcomes all fear (1 John 4:18). Grant us in this season of gift-giving the gift of love and then embolden us to practice it.
O Come, O Come, Thou Lord of might
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Blessings to you ~ Rosemary firstname.lastname@example.org