Advent Daybook, 19: O Clavis David (Key of David)

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Look: Religion In Prison, 2002-03, Serge Levy

( source )

O Clavis: O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel; who openest and no one shutteth, who shuttest and no one openeth;  Come and bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

Read this post for an overview of praying the O Antiphons the week leading up to Christmas.

Listen: “O Holy Night / Hallelujah” from Oh For Joy, David Crowder Band

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And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. ...

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Mid′ian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will 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, upon 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 for evermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens. ...

”I am coming soon; hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.’”
”Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare′a Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do men say that the Son of man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli′jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’
— Isaiah 22:22-23, 9:2-7, Revelation 3:7,11-12, Matthew 16:13-19

Pray in song the fifth verse of O Come, O Come Emmanuel:

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

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
— "O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel" Translator: John Mason Neale (1851)


Do justice & love mercy

Get involved with Equal Justice Initiative (or a similar organization).

“‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'“ (Matt. 16:19)

  • Bryan Stevenson’s groundbreaking work with the Equal Justice Initiative is providing opportunities for all of us to be a part of “ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society”. Here’s 10 ways to get involved. Choose one today and pray that God will multiply each effort.

  • Listen to O Clavis Advent antiphon and sonnet by Malcolm Guite by clicking through to his website, or pressing the play button below.

(See all Advent Daybook posts from 2017 here.)