O Veni…


O Wisdom — we too often place you where
our minds can wrap around you and ensnare
your mighty arms that would us enfold,
but, gently, they escape our stranglehold.
Rejoice! Rejoice! — God’s wisdom comes to earth,
though not in force: just through a simple birth.

O Lord — Lords now don’t have such a good name,
and bombs outdo a burning bush’s flame.
In Israel fades your promise of peace,
and lawlesness pervades from west to east.

Rejoice! Rejoice! — despite all this God came,
and we shall see him as he is: the Same.


O stem of Jesse — there’s a name that would
in Yorkshire at least be often ridiculed.
You knew before you came down to earth
the world would not seem changed much by your birth.

Rejoice! Rejoice! — if God could himself splice
to Jesse’s root, where cannot he now rise?


O Key of David — what you unlocked then
remains obscure until you come again.
Yet just as meagre David won through
against the might of evil, we can too.

Rejoice! Rejoice! — God’s kingdom comes to free
us not with force, but gently with a key.


O Rising Dawn, O Dayspring — come and flood
these dark days with the light of all that’s good.
To those whose life feels dark as deep night,
may we be bearers of that hopeful light.

Rejoice! Rejoice! — these antiphons now tell
of Christmas wealth we cannot buy or sell.


O King, O Cornerstone — sustaining all,
despite the world’s indifference to your call,
at Christmas you to all people come:
Immanuel, God with us, every one.

Rejoice! Rejoice! — God’s saving plans unfold
Though foolishly, with Christmas wealth untold.


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