1 Samuel 1:1-18
On these days leading up to the festival of the Nativity of Our Lord, the church has for many centuries sung the so-called “Great O Antiphons” at daily prayer. We know these antiphons now primarily as the Advent hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” It is a long hymn and maybe a little slow and gloomy-sounding to modern ears, but it is widely loved all the same. Here is the verse for today:
O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer;
O Sun of justice, now draw near
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel
Spend some time today with this image of Dayspring, which comes from the Old Testament and is echoed in Luke’s Gospel (“the dawn from on high shall break upon us”). “Sun of justice” is another prophetic image that we hear again in the powerful, and theologically profound, Christmas hymn “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”:
Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace
Hail the Sun of Righteousness
Light and life to all he brings
Ris’n with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by
Born that we no more may die
Born to raise each child of earth
Born to give us second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born king
Pray: for good cheer, light, life, and healing; for the worship of the whole church around the world this week; for all preparing for baptism; for a joyous and reverent Christmas.
Our Father, who art in heaven...
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Pastor Ben Dueholm