December 22 (O King of the Nations)

 

 

 

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Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!   

 

O King of the nations, and their desire, the cornerstone making both one: Come and save the human race, which you fashioned from clay.  

 

Isaiah had prophesied: "For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 "He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Isaiah 2:4    O

 

Rex Gentium: O King of Nations

(Written by Samantha Davidson) 

 

How can it be that that we call you, O God, the “King of the Nations”? 

 

Doesn’t every nation have its own king or president?

 

Doesn’t every nation have its own language, history, and cultural practice?

 

How can there be one king, and yet many nations?  

 

Our world is plagued by cultural divisions. For example, we cannot always speak to one another. Not because we don’t want to, but simply because our language prevents us from speaking with people of another tongue. The cuisine of every nation depends on what local crops are in season, which makes every local dish unique.  Even our skin, hair and eyes look different from our neighbor’s. When there are so many things that make one person distinct from the other, what do we have in common?  

 

If we go beyond the appearance or birth location, maybe we will find some commonality between all people. There are two basic needs that everyone shares: we all become hungry, and we all become thirsty.  

 

We have heard it said that God offers us food and drink, but where do we find it?

 

Our souls and bodies hunger and thirst, and as the people of God, we receive his body and blood which was offered for us. We eat the bread and drink the cup every Sunday during Communion. Jesus was Jewish, and through the sacrifice of his life, he opened up salvation for all the nations. It is because of Jesus that the world is forgiven of its sins and offered new life.  

 

What a wonderful thing, that we all, from every tribe, nation, and language, can come before the Lord in thanksgiving! We can all be thankful that we receive his grace. When we take communion together, we receive the work that he has done, and we are transformed. Jesus offered his body and blood for the world. And we are all welcome at the table. At the table, we recognize that Jesus is Lord, that he is the King of the world, and that we worship the same God.  

 

Our cultural distinctions do not disappear simply because we proclaim that Jesus is the King of the Nations; rather, our identity is found because we are all created and he is the Creator. Suddenly, border lines, language barriers, and cultural customs are no longer the focus. The focus is worship, and the Creator of every tribe is in the spotlight. God has done something far greater than simply bringing all different types of people into the room. He has given himself for us, he has conquered death, he has been raised from the dead, and he now lives. And because of this great work, the whole world praises him.  

 

Let us, from every tribe and nation, worship our King, for he has welcomed us into his glorious salvation!

 

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind;

Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,

And be yourself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to you, O Israel!

 

The Magnificat (Song of Mary) - Luke 1:46-55      

 

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

And my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior

My Soul Magnifies the Lord

And my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior      

 

Praise the Almighty God, He’s done great things for us

Holy is His name

Praise the Almighty God, He’s done great things for us

Holy is His name      

 

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;

for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.      

 

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.      

 

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.    

 

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.       

 

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.    

 

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.      

 

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,    

 

The promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever.    

 

Musical refrain by J. Brooke Fenwick