Saturday, 19 December 2009

O Radix Jesse...


O Radix Jesse
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; 
before you kings will shut their mouths,     
to you the nations will make their prayer:   
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah, 11: 10 -
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

 I'm currently playing about with the word 'witness' within the context of a chapter in the thesis.  It is a hugely loaded word - multiple levels, multiple layers, of meaning and I'm enjoying the digging down through the layers.  The text from Isaiah states that 'the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal' - the root of Jesse as a witness of God to the people of God and reaching beyond those who would think within terms of particularity... reaching out to all peoples, to all nations.
Perhaps the root of Jesse witnesses to the paradox of God's particularity which encompasses all humanity?
All loved,
all favoured,
all God's own.
Definitions once again overturned as God refines, and defines.

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse's stem,
From ev'ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow'r to save;
Bring them in vict'ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

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