“O King of the Nations, Come” (Haggai 2:1-9, 20-23; Ephesians 2:11-22; Matthew 28:18-20)

Third Week in Advent
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

“O King of the Nations, Come” (Haggai 2:1-9, 20-23; Ephesians 2:11-22; Matthew 28:18-20)

In our Advent series on the O Antiphons, today we continue with “King of the nations.” You’ll find it there in your hymnal or in the bulletin. Let us pray this antiphon together: “O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people: Come and save us all, whom You formed out of clay.”

Now this title for Christ, “King of the nations,” is sometimes also referred to as “Desire of nations,” not that the word “king” means “desire”–it doesn’t–but that this king who is coming would be the one that the nations will desire. That’s how the hymn stanza we just sang uses it: “O come, Desire of nations, bind,” etc. And that idea is there in the antiphon itself: “O king of the nations, the ruler they long for,” and so on. You often see the term “Desire of nations” used in hymns and devotional literature throughout the history of the church. It means Christ as the coming king whom the nations will desire.

The term “Desire of nations” is based on a verse from our reading from the Old Testament prophet, Haggai, the verse that reads, “And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts.” How this passage came to be applied to Christ the coming king as the Desire of nations–that’s what I’ll explain now.


Published in: on December 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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