Advent 2019 – Day 16

O Come, O Come Emmanuel Verse/Antiphon 4

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here.

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.

A Song of Ascents — Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.  Lord, hear my voice!  Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.  If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.  I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word I do hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.  O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is lovingkindness; and with Him is abundant redemption.  And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Psalm 130

The dawn has long been a symbol of hope and joy, its light spreading over the earth to drive out the fear of those things that so menacingly loomed in shadow, things that our eyes could not comprehend.  So too, Jesus comes as the hope bursting into our world of darkness.

The Hebrew for morning in this Song of Ascents is בֹּקֶר or boqer meaning: morning, end of night, coming of daylight, coming of sunrise, bright joy after night of distress – all fitting, and glorious, epithets for Jesus – but there is something richer for us to find here.  Boqer comes from the root בָּקַר baqar, a verb meaning to seek, to enquire, to cleave apart looking for.  It is the verb God speaks to Ezekiel when he says “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out” (Ezekiel 24:11).

Jesus the Dayspring comes not only as a source of hope, but as the fulfillment of everything that we have been desperately, single-mindedly, frantically, or diligently been seeking after.  He is the realization of all aspirations and the source of complete, fearless, Joy.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant – as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old – Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.  And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the LORD to prepare His ways; to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 

Luke 1: 68-79