NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 12/22

A little background...
Christmas is just few days away! At this time of year in the prayer of the church, there are special introductory verses sung at Evening Prayer, each naming a particular "title" of the Lord whose coming again we await, each verse beginning with "O...." We are familiar with these special verses because they constitute the lyrics of the 7 verses of the well known Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!"   (More info here!)
Night Prayer will take its lead from these "O antiphons," the sixth of which is "O King!

You reign over all the nations, Lord:
lift our eyes from our self-destructive paths
to see as you do 
that there's one world,
one human family, 
one life given to each of us,
each deserving of reverence and respect,
of care and compassion,
because each and every life 
is a gift from your hand...

Come and wrap my life in the reign of your love:
come and rule over my thoughts and desires,
rule over my dreams and schemes;
rule over my envy and jealousy,
my angry grudges and resentments;
come rule my heart
with your word, your truth,
your wisdom and your justice...

Let your rule be the measure
of my compassion, 
my generosity, 
my pardoning of others, 
my mercy and my gentleness…

With princely power, Lord,
mend and make peaceful
all our sad divisions:
first in my family, 
then in my neighborhood, 
in my parish,
at school, 
at work,
between the many races and creeds,
in my nation, 
and among the peoples of the world…

And, Lord,
in your mercy,
mend all the sad divisions
I know within myself... 
As a newborn child brings peace to a family,
bring joy and peace to these last days of Advent
as we prepare to celebrate your birth...

Be born anew among us, Lord,
and be for us the King of peace,
the peace that only you can bring
the peace that only you can give...
Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace.

The King Shall Come  

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The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.
Not as of old, a little child
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun,
That lights that morning sky
O, brighter than the rising morn,
When He, victorious rose,
And left the lonesome place of death,
Despite the rage of foes
O, brighter than that glorious morn,
Shall this fair morning be,
When Christ, our King, in beauty comes,
And we His face shall see.
The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light and beauty brings;—
Hail! Christ the Lord; Thy people pray
Come quickly, King of kings.




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