22 December 2008

O Dayspring

(This antiphon is used on 21 December, even though I'm just now posting it on 22 December. Mea culpa for being tardy on this one.)

O Dayspring, splendor of light ever- / lasting:*
Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the sha- / dow of death.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

"The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." (Isaiah 60:19)

"...because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

"And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Revelation 21:23)

All people of all times and in all places live in the darkness of sin and death, separated from the God of light and love. And, as if it weren't bad enough just to live in such darkness, we are so accustomed to sin and death darkening our world and our lives that we think it's only "normal." However, the Son of God reveals to us the truth that there is a better way, the way of light and life. When God’s Light, Jesus the Christ, shines upon us and illumines our way, there is much joy and celebration. As Malachi 4:2 says, “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.” Like free, frolicking calves released from captivity, we joyously and festively sing our praises to Christ. He has come. We are free. We pray for Christ’s light to continue.

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel! (LSB 537:6)

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