Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O Clavis David

Note: This post is the fourth in a series of posts on the "O Antiphons" that I wrote two years ago. I'm reposting them here this year as we head towards Christmas.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; 
you open and no one can shut; 
you shut and no one can open: 
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, 
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. 

This is not your house. You don't own the keys. You cannot close the doors God opens, neither can you open the ones God has shut. This is not your house.

And isn't this a tremendous message of grace? Because if this is not your house and it's not my house, if this really is God's house, then that means this is not their house.


The Powers. Those who stake their claim of ownership on contested land, those who trade the needy for a pair of sandals, those who trade the minority for a false unity, those who turned a cold shoulder when you walked into the room... this is not their house.


O come, thou Key of David, come, 
and open wide our heavenly home; 
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery. 

There is one key to the house of God's people and it is owned by God. It is carried by Christ. It has been passed on to the Apostles and the church that bears the lineage of the Apostles still holds those keys. But we are only stewards of the keys. They are not ours.

And the keys are certainly not theirs, it is not the Powers’ key nor the key of them that serve the Powers’ ends. They will come to the house of God and find that the locks have been changed, that the name they pasted on the mailbox is gone.

But the least of these, the voiceless, the oppressed, the small and seemingly weak will find the door opened wide. They will find that Christ has made safe the way home. The way home is now safe.

Because the keys were never theirs. They were never ours. And the door is even now about to be open. The way to salvation will be made safe for all.

O Clavis David.


Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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