Friday, December 22, 2017

Hail! Creator of the stars of heaven: praying before Christmas

Out of Isaiah’s mouth the Lord decrees: “Understand you nations and submit, for God is with us!” Emmanuel is arriving, Jesse’s rod is blossoming, the Virgin is bearing and all creation is rejoicing:
Hail! Child born for us.
Hail! Son given for us.
Hail! Whose shoulders bear the Government.
Hail! Angel of Great Counsel.
Hail! Wonderful Counselor.
Hail! Mighty God.
Hail! Potentate.
Hail! Prince of Peace.
Hail! Father of the Age to Come.
Hail! Upholder of the Throne from Age to Age.
Hail! Judge of the lowly with justice.
Hail! Little Child who leads us.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.
Not until this moment has Jeremiah’s word been understood:
this is our God, and there shall be no other,
this is our God, who appeared upon earth,
and lived among men.
Lord, we give You glory as we hymn:

Human hand did not cut the stone that comes now to be born, and human help did not save the three youths in Babylon’s fire. Teach us, Daniel, lead us young men, as we cry out to the Savior:
Hail! Lord God of our Fathers, worthy of all praise.
Hail! Just in all that you do.
Hail! Heaven’s Lord.
Hail! Angels’ King.
Hail! Maker of the sun and moon.
Hail! Creator of the stars of heaven.
Hail! Who send us fire and hail, frost and snow.
Hail! Glorified in winter cold and summer heat.
Hail! Source of springs, seas and rivers.
Hail! Who care for birds of the air, for beasts and cattle.
Hail! Son of Man for the sons of men.
Hail! Whose mercy endures forever.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.

Early is the rain that falls for our vindication, says Joel,
foreshadowing the Spirit’s overshadowing of the Virgin soil.
O Hosea marry, Amos warn,
Habakkuk look upon the vision,
and let the whole company cry out with us:

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