22 December 2008

O King of the Nations

O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all / people:*
Come and save us all, whom you formed / out of clay.

"Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you." (Jeremiah 10:7)

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)

"Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek." (John 19:19-20)

"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:13-14)

Christ came not only for one kind or race of people; He came to live, suffer, die, and rise again for all peoples. Christ is King of all peoples and unites all people. Adam's fall into sin brought not only separation from God but also sad divisions and painful conflicts between people--between husbands and wives, between parents and children, between various nations and ethnic groups, even between fellow Christians, etc. Every division and conflict, whether between individuals, nations or other groups of people, is a result of our sin and death as well as a manifestation of the havoc that sin and death still wreak upon us. However, Christ Jesus has come to heal the divisions and restore our human unity. No longer are we enemies with our neighbor. Rather, we are freed in Christ's cross-won forgiveness and resurrection life to serve our neighbor, because Christ died for him/her also. The King who made a cross His throne draws all people to Himself. With the mind of Christ, we pray "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11).

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel! (LSB 537:7)

No comments:

Post a Comment