The O Antiphons
The last seven verses of the well-known Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel utilize seven unique names to identify Jesus or praise a particular characteristic of the Savior of the Nations. Reflecting on these seven stanzas has inspired us to share a daily thought with you. Through these, we hope to connect you further to this place and ministry of which we are a part, but more importantly to draw our focus on the coming of our Lord.
O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel,
You open and no one can close,
You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.
‘The Hermit Nation’ is a name that has been used to describe the country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a.k.a. North Korea) due to the limited exposure this secretive place allows to the rest of the world. Though finding its way into the news from time to time, little of this country’s people and culture is made known to our Western eyes.
Following two visits several years ago, further exploratory excursions have been prohibited for a variety of reasons. Even so, living in South Korea connects one to the reality of the neighbors to the north. In many ways, with such restrictions on expression, religion, and contact with the outside world, it is easy to picture this populace as a prisoner in darkness, both physical and spiritual. Yet, in only a way that God can work, we are aware that the Gospel is proclaimed in indiscrete yet brave ways. May the Key of David unlock the cages of darkness and bring more and more to the light of His grace.
Matt, Dee Dee, Lily and Olivia
LCMS missionaries in East Asia