O King of all nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of humankind, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
In the United States, especially in times of political contestation and in a year when even religious leaders decry specters of threats against “religious liberty,” it can be difficult to think of the coming of Christ as the coming of the “King of all nations.” The king of Iran, the king of Israel, the king of North Korea, and of China, the United States, and Haiti. Because of this truth, the fact that we believe that Christ is indeed the keystone of the “might arch of humankind,” that we need to put down temptations of extreme patriotism, jingoism, and discrimination on all fronts.
The United States is not the greatest nation on earth. All nations have things about which to be proud and things for which to be ashamed. Greatness, at least greatness as conceived by Jesus’s instruction to his disciples to be the least and to serve all, has not been intentionally achieved by any human community on this earth.
Nevertheless, the King of all nations comes. Christ is near. Are we ready to accept that? To accept our interrelatedness with all people on earth? Or will we, especially in the United States, continue to look only at ourselves to the disregard of all others?
In honor of today’s O Antiphon, I want to share the lyrics to one of my favorite songs: This is My Song, set to Sebelius’s famous tune, Finlandia. This is my song today, my prayer for this O Antiphon.
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation;
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together,
A world united, righting every wrong;
A world united in its love for freedom,
Proclaiming peace together in one song.
This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms:
Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him,
And hearts united learn to live as one.
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations;
Myself I give thee, let thy will be done.