The Advent Project Week 7

Eternal God, you do not abandon us in exile but hear our plea for returning and rest: Visit us we pray with your presence and raise us to greet with hope and joy the promised day of salvation; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns now and for ever. Amen.

(THE ADVENT PROJECT)

Daily Readings

Day 1: II Samuel 7:1-17
Day 2: II Samuel 7:18-29
Day 3: Romans 16:17-27
Day 4: Luke 1:26-55

Reflection

When we started our Advent journey I promised that I would tell all of you about the really cool thing the O Antiphons do. First let’s review:
The O Antiphons come from Isaiah and they reference the various titles given to the Messiah. Those titles are Wisdom (11:2-3, 28:29), LORD (11:;-5, 33:22), Root of Jesse(1:1, 11:10), Key of David (9:6, 22:22), Morning Star(9:1), King of Nations (9:5, 2:4), and God with us (7:14). In Latin those titles are Sapientia, Adonai, Radix Jesse, Clavis David, Oriens, Rex Gentium, and Emmanuel.  The O Antiphons are chanted during evening prayer on the nights leading up to Christmas (Dec. 17-23) (If you been following us on FaceBook or Instagram we’ve been praying these chants in the evenings).

Now for the fun part!

If you take the first letter of each antiphon in the opposite order in which they are chanted you end up with this “erocras.” In Latin Ero Cras translates into “tomorrow I will be there” or “tomorrow I will come.” Now before anyone starts looking for conspiracy theories in Isaiah, this was in no way intended by the writers of Isaiah. This is a wonderful accidental coincidence.

Advent isn’t just about waiting for Christmas, it’s about looking forward with hope as the entire liturgical year unfolds. We have hope because we know what God has done through Jesus, we have hope because we trust that God constantly abides with us, we have hope because we have baptized, marked, and sealed as children of God, we have hope because we believe that the God who is with us has gone to the grave before us so that we have no need to fear death. We have hope, because the church has always been a place where hope has been proclaimed.

Now for a brief note about this readings, they are based on the lectionary readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, one of the Sundays in the church year in which we celebrate Mary, the Blessed Virgin. Some Lutherans, like myself, are very passionate about our adoration of Mary, while other Lutherans, feel that it’s too “Catholic.” Lutherans actually have a long history of adoration of Mary.

For this week ponder where you find hope in our faith and think about the role that Mary plays in your faith.

Let us pray…

O Emmanuel, our King, and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

The Advent Project