O Lord: Reflections as We Journey to Bethlehem
"Let us rest in the Lordship of Christ today. Rest in the knowledge that no matter how disordered our world, desks or kitchens appear, God in Christ is on the throne"
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Through December 23, Ascension Press is presenting “What’s in a Name? The O Antiphons with Thomas Smith."
The "10-minute studies" (they are intended to take no more than 10 minutes of a reader's time) are free at http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/category/free-studies/o-antiphons/
A recording and translation of each of the O Antiphons, chanted by the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford, can be found at this link: http://godzdogz.op.org/search/label/%22O%20Antiphons%22
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(This can also be sung to the melody “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”)
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.
Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel
We turn again to Isaiah, who speaks of the righteous reign of the Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:4-5) and how the Lord will be for us a judge, a ruler, a king and a savior (Isaiah 33:21-22).
The Lordship of Jesus is united intimately with being God’s chosen Messiah. St. Peter proclaimed on Pentecost, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). In fact, the Feast of Pentecost (the Jewish Feast of Shavuot) was the perfect place for St. Peter to make this connection, since it was a celebration of the giving of the Law on Sinai, when the people of Israel accepted the Lord as their God. As Lord, Jesus has sent his Spirit to write a new law, not upon tablets of stone, but on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-32; Ezekiel 36:26).
For most of us, the Lordship of Jesus can remain a bit of an abstraction. While it means many glorious things, at its most basic level it means directing our hearts, affections, attentions and energies to Him. It means seeking first his kingdom above all else (Mt. 6:33). It means daily, and sometimes moment by moment, enthroning Christ firmly and faithfully on the throne of our hearts, uniting our will with His will. St. Peter will continue in that verse to remind us that If Christ is truly our Lord, we will willingly and joyfully share our King and his Kingdom with others. This season especially, we can offer the world a counter sign to the avarice and consumerism, the endless purchasing and parties that characterizes our culture, “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
Take a clear-eyed “throne check” of your heart. If you find yourself there, crowned and robed, consider “re-enthroning” Christ. If he is not Lord of all, he is not your Lord at all. Most of our misery in life comes when we attempt to rule ourselves and others, after having removed Jesus from his rightful place. What are some concrete ways you can manifest his kingdom of peace, joy and the Holy Spirit in the conversations and tasks of today?
Let us rest in the Lordship of Christ today. Rest in the knowledge that no matter how disordered our world, desks or kitchens appear, God in Christ is on the throne. He is guiding human history and the smallest details of our life. In your heart declare, “Not my will, Lord, but thine be done.”
Reprinted with permission of Ascension Press.
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Thomas Smith is the co-author of Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come and an international presenter for The Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Bringing a wealth of experience and insight on the Word of God to audiences across the U.S., Thomas is a repeat guest on EWTN and Catholic radio as well as a sought after parish mission and conference speaker. Thomas Smith has taught as an adjunct professor at the St. Francis School of Theology in Denver, and is the former Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and the Denver Catechetical School. He lives on his family ranch in southeastern Idaho and writes for his website www.gen215.org.