Preparing: O Morning Star, O Radiant Dawn

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

O Oriens (Radiant Dawn, Morning Star)

O Morning Star, splendor of the light eternal and bright sun of righteousness: come and bring light to those who dwell in darkness and walk in the shadow of death.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Amen.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.” (Isaiah 9:2)

This is one of the great metaphors of the Advent and Christmas season–light shining on those who live in the land of darkness. Our Christmas Eve call to worship comes from these verses (well, from verses 2 and 7 of Isaiah 9!), because this is such a powerful image. Depending on the translation you choose, it could be dawn breaking forth–like the most beautiful of sunrises, with light spreading from the horizon over all the earth, colorful and bright and illuminating, or it could be the Morning Star, the guiding light that shines just before dawn, showing us the way. Either way, it is definitely light shining in the darkness–and the good news is that the darkness cannot overcome it.

What darkness do you walk in? What light do you need in the land of deep darkness?

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