Advent Daybook, 21: O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

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Look: Jesus Rides A White Horse, James B. Janknegt

( source )

O Rex: O King of the Nations, and their Desire; the Cornerstone who dost unite the divided into one: Come and save mankind, whom thou didst create out of clay.

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

Listen: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” from Nine Lessons & Carols, The Choir of King’s College (Stephen Cleobury) (lyrics)

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There is none like thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? For this is thy due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like thee.”
”For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the Lord of hosts.’”
”It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say:

’Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’

For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. ...

For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.”
”And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
”Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:

‘The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
— Jeremiah 10:6-7, Haggai 2:6-9, Isaiah 2:2-4, 9:5, Ephesians 2:17-22, Matthew 21:33-42

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

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind;
O bid our sad divisions cease,
and be for us our Prince of Peace.

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




Spend at least 15 minutes sitting in silence. Don’t try to make anything happen during the time. Just be.

“And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph. 2:17)

  • Today, take some time to be silent, without any noise or distraction, to pause and calmly think about the weeks of Advent. There is no need to strive for a profound insight during this time. Just be still. If you begin to sense thoughts or feelings bubbling up in the quiet, notice them without trying to analyze. You might breathe out one phrase each time you're tempted to become distracted. Try something like "O come, Emmanuel" or even, "Prince of Peace". Trust God as your Heavenly Father to be present with you through Christ and by His Spirit. End your time with a simple prayer or chorus. Go about your day in peace.

  • Listen to O Rex Gentium 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.)