Preparing: O Adonai


We continue our series reflecting on the O Antiphons, the prayers for the seven days before Christmas.

O Adonai

O Adonai, Lord of Lords, and ruler of the House of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai: come with your outstretched arm and save us.
Come Lord Jesus.

“Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22)

This is a title we often associate with Jesus–King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and all the other wonderful things from the Hallelujah Chorus (which, of course, is an Easter piece!). During Advent we prepare for the coming of the King, but what we get is not a royal birth surrounded with tapestries and jewels and trumpets, but instead a dirty, smelly, noisy, ritually unclean, outcast birth, a God who comes to live with us, not to rule from on high. But still we believe that the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, revealed a different kind of majesty in this amazing event.

How do you prepare for the Lord of Lords coming to your house?


3 responses »

  1. That is quite a leap from the burning bush and Mt. Sinai to the life of Jesus. I know they are on the same continuum of history, but a LOT of water went under the bridge, so to speak, between Moses and Jesus.

  2. Fred, I agree there’s quite a leap there. Though at the same time, I recognize that for many, Jesus was sort of the “new Moses”–Moses as the type, Jesus the fulfillment. I wonder if those who originally wrote the prayer were thinking of ways God revealed Godself–in the burning bush, on Mt. Sinai, and in Jesus? In that way, it makes a lot of sense–the three times God could be “seen” very clearly in the story. It sort of fits with the Lord of Lords idea, I think…kind of. or maybe that’s too big a leap…

  3. I think I was looking through a Pauline prism with my comment. Although this may be a simplistic rendering, Paul replaced Law with Grace. He saw a role for the Mosaic law, but its roll is mainly to show us how far short we fall when compared to the flory of God, thus demonstrating the need to throw ourselves upon God’s grace as incarnated in Jesus.

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