Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Come, Desired King of the Nations

The Season of Light:
The Christmas 'Novena', Day 6

The Word:
1 Samuel 1:24-28 (Hannah consecrates her son Samuel to the Lord's service)
1 Samuel 2:1-8 (My heart exults in the Lord, my savior)
Luke 1:46-56 (The Magnificat: "The Almighty has done great things for me; holy is his name")

Veni, Veni, Rex gentium,
veni, Redemptor omnium,
Ut salvas tuos famulos
Peccati sibi conscios.

Gaude, gaude!
Emmanuel nascetur pro te, Israel!

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of humankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our Prince of Peace.

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

--O Come, O Come Emmanuel
(verse seven)

In my series of reflections last year, I wrote:
The Grinch couldn't stop Christmas from coming...but he nearly shut it out of his heart and life. (So also went the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge.) How much effort do we put into preparation, and just what is it we prepare for?

There are some who speak artistically about the thought of having Christmas every day. It would not work the way we drive ourselves to the edge of our sanity to prepare for December 25. Having said that, though, it is possible to maintain the Spirit of Christmas in an ongoing manner. Remember what it is we truly celebrate...and be a reflection of that Light. Remember what it is we truly long for...and seek it sincerely not only for ourselves, but for all around us.

Today, though, I am prompted to write on 'kingship.'

Last year, Americans elected a new president. Given the global response to the result, one could have spoken of Barack Obama as the "desired one of the nations" and not be speaking falsely.

Still, as we all know, the President cannot bring his goals to fruition without the cooperation of the rest of the government and the support of the people whom he serves. His plans are scrutinized and criticized. Support in the legislature is tenuous. And everywhere, the bottom line seems to be: What is the ultimate cost? And just who will pay it?

But...is this where our hearts should be focused?

Do we look so much at the utopia we attempt to build on our own that we lose sight of what is more important...what really matters? Have we forgotten that men and women, paupers and kings, did what they had to do and not tally the cost - even if it meant their lives?

That a 'desired' king would come is a universal hope. And that a desired king actually came is a universal truth; yet some seem to forget that because kingship is often conferred on those who don't fit the image or the uniform. I, too, miss this - and the only thing I can say about it is I often know I've missed it the split-second after I've put my foot in my mouth. There is a reason to be "watchful and ready." Today, I pray that those who seem lost in the details will have their eyes opened to see, their ears open to listen, and their hearts ready to receive. Everything else...can wait.

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