Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Hail! Who raises sons of Abraham from the stoniest of hearts: continuing the Nativity Fast Akathist

Yielding to Melchizedek, Abraham bows; the ancestor is greeted by the one without ancestors. The patriarch tithes his spoils; Salem’s King offers bread and wine. Though we have a beginning we dare to cry to the One without beginning; though we have few treasures we dare to sing to the Giver of every good thing:
Hail! Who have called us out to a new land.
Hail! Who have made of us a great nation.
Hail! Faithful to covenant.
Hail! Judge of covenant breakers.
Hail! Counted among Abraham’s seed.
Hail! Promiser and promised in One.
Hail! Hagar’s consolation.
Hail! Ishmael’s protection.
Hail! Whose providence draws all to Yourself.
Hail! Who raises sons of Abraham from the stoniest of hearts.
Hail! Whose blessings are more than the sands of the seashore.
Hail! The Host who makes Himself guest in the heat of our days.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.
The Magi, sons of Chaldea, are called out from their own country;
Shepherds are herded by angels through the cave’s narrow gate.
A manger offers bestial men celestial Food.
Isaac is coming again to be offered by the God
Who will Himself provide the Offering to those who sing:

Hid Jacob in skins to win his father’s blessing; the Word comes buried in the field of the flesh to restore us to our Father’s house. Jacob’s trickery won him lordship, the cunning of Jacob’s offspring defeats the empty power of Death. Tell us, O bold Rebekah’s daughter, who journeys towards Bethlehem, how to sing:
Hail! Field and field’s Fruit in one.
Hail! Aroma filling the Father’s nostrils with joy.
Hail! Fatness of the earth, plenty and grain and wine.
Hail! Blessing of those who bless You.
Hail! Curse of those who curse You.
Hail! Laborer for your beloveds’ love.
Hail! Winner of false Laban’s flocks.
Hail! Shepherd of many sheep.
Hail! Who marks us as we wrestle.
Hail! Whom Jacob would not let go without a blessing.
Hail! Father of the Twelve Tribes.
Hail! Lover of all earth’s tribes.
Hail! New Child, being God from all eternity.

Every service Joseph rendered his master, Pharaoh;
now Caesar commands a new Joseph, wending to Bethlehem to obey.
The lust of Potiphar’s wife proved the virtue of the first;
the second preserves the Virgin’s honor intact.
Finding freedom through virtue they sing:

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