O Lord

The second of the O Antiphons is O Lord, or Adonai. The Antiphon continues the unfolding hope for redemption. Followed by Wisdom, this Antiphon speaks of the Lord’s appearing to Moses and His presence and self-revelation through the glory cloud and the Law which we read about in the book of Exodus. Even though the Lord delivered Israel from slavery with an outstretched arm (Exodus 6:6), the Lord would again and again need to lay bar his holy arm in order to save his people. We tend, I think, to first imagine the Lord’s outstretched arm as one that is bared in order to strike. But the gospel show us otherwise. In this way, John in his gospel (echoing Isaiah) asks, “to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

In this installment, artist Sarah Stone provides a beautiful interpretation of the sonnet I’ve written and Ed Pilkington reads the poem. You may read, see, and hear via the video below.

O Lord (O Adonai)
December 18
“O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.”
From Sinai's bush which blazed in holy fire
You answered, “I AM!”, gave Moses your name.
And promised your arm would reach, never tire
’Til you saved your son from slav’ry and shame.

And even while gath’ring the bread sent each day
Sheltered beneath Sinai’s thundering peak,
The people yet complain, reject, and stray
From HIM WHO IS, deliv’er of the weak.

O Lord, redeem! My arms cannot bear
The doing demands of performance lords,
Nor can avoid the tangle of sin’s snare
I'm trapped by desire, cupidity’s cords.

Baring his arm I AM reached to the lost
By taking the wood of manger and cross.