Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Incarnation as Liberation

O Key of David and Scepter of the House of Israel; you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. (Antiphon for today: Clavis David)
The beautiful picture above, which depicts the Incarnation, was taken from a card which I gave to someone this year. Today's antiphon holds forth the prospect of Christ as the Key of David and draws on those promises of hope and liberation from Isaiah 22. In the picture, mankind is shown lying in darkness, curled helplessly, bound hand and foot, like a prisoner or hostage unable to break free. The blue colour of the flesh of mankind is corpse-like, mankind is subject to the powers of death. The coldness and stillness of the figure contrasts with the light and heat of the child descending. It offers a moving visual rendering of some of the ideas in today's  wonderful, meaningful antiphon.
 Today's reflection  from the I-Bendectine blog links the antiphon to the reading from Luke and to the way Mary was open to God. The picture above emphasises the relevance of the Incarnation to all; that  God enters not just Mary but the whole of fallen mankind to free, restore and redeem. Advent requires all to make room for God within us, or in the words of a well known hymn: 
 
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel.

No comments:

Post a Comment