Thursday of the Third Week of Advent: O Adonai

Today’s readings

“Come, let us worship the Lord, for he is already close at hand.”

Each day from the seventeenth through the twenty-third of December, a verse is assigned to each day that we call the “O Antiphons.”  We hear the “O Antiphons” is the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  Today’s verse is “O Adonai” or “O Sacred Lord.”  The verse for Evening Prayer or Vespers is “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.”

The fulfillment of that prophetic verse is, of course, Jesus Christ.  This was the message Joseph received in his dream. No, the child to be born was not a random child born out of wedlock. He was instead the hope of the nations, the Lord of Lords, the one who would save his people from their sins. Just as Isaiah foretold one who would be called “the LORD our justice,” so Joseph would name his child Jesus, a name which means “the LORD is salvation.” We await the coming of our Savior who is our salvation, our justice, our hope of eternal life. He was long desired of every nation, and he is needed in our hearts today.

The song we sing in these days is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” If you look at the verses, you will note that there is a verse for each of these “O Antiphons.” Today’s verse for O Sacred Lord is:

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Your tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

In these later days of Advent, we find ourselves in heightened anticipation for the coming of our Savior.  We remember his incarnation, his coming into the world so long ago.  It changed everything in the world, and made possible the salvation of every person.  We look forward to his coming in glory, when he will take all of us home to be with him, and everything will be made right.  Only the great Lord of Might, O Adonai, Jesus Christ, could do that.  And so we pray: Come, Lord Jesus.  Come quickly, and do not delay!

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