Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Advent Antiphon

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who orderest all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. 
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

We're in that period of "O" in Advent as in the beginning of using the verses from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" as antiphons.  This is the period of Sapientia, meaning wisdom or discernment.  Fitting at this time as our Collect of the Day (which becomes a Collect of the Week) is calling on God to stir up God's power and with great might come among us.  I'll just say, "Be careful what you ask for!"  Certainly, if we are going to ask for such a thing, we must also do so with a willingness to be ready to get knocked around on our way to more wisdom as our foolishness gets brought to light.

We're also in a period of rejoicing.  In many parts of the Episcopal Church, there's been a trend toward lighting a rose or pink-colored candle on the Advent wreath for the third Sunday in the season.  This marks a break in these days of awe for Christians as we've been getting the message from John the Baptist to "Repent!!!" and being reminded that we are to keep awake because nobody knows the hour that the Son of Man is coming.  The Advent readings are edgy and provocative.  They certainly have been leaving me with a lot to think about and consider and--yes--even repent.  Nothing like having Jesus getting all up-in-your-face with his "Woe to you!" tirade to realize that I am just as much a hypocrite at times as those who he was dressing down in that moment many centuries ago.  Time to wash the inside of the cup, and not just the outside.

So, as I've said, I am happy to get a bit of break with the Advent antiphons for Morning Prayer.  I'm especially pleased to welcome in the wisdom, and the discernment, as I prepare my own way for the re-entry of Christ into the midst of the world.  He is a game-changer, and I better be ready to play.  

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