Monday, 20 December 2010

O Clavis David

The key has for millennia been a symbol of effective power. Even today, the software which drives our computers, or gives us access to our emails or e-banking is activated by a digital key. Whoever uses keys has control, even if it is delegated to them by the possessor of power.  In the modern materialistic world the vast proliferation of locks, pass codes and security devices is a measure of how insecure many of us are with our identity and possessions. Is there a single key that can give us all the sense of freedom and safety needed to live abundantly?

The Key of David, subject of this day's Advent antiphon, refers to Isaiah 22:22 where the prophet says that the key of the household of David will be entrusted to Eliakim when he becomes chief steward, as one worthy of taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jesus in the book of Revelation (3:7) declares himself to be inheritor of the power of this key, which when he opens a door, nobody can shut, or when he closes a door nobody can open. He who also describes himself as 'the door'. He who is ultimately 'all in all', entrusted by the Creator to reconcile all things in Himself.

These are bold poetic statements about the absolute power of divine love embodied in His very being. And notably, this antiphon looks to Him first and foremost to deliver those imprisoned, or surviving at the extremities of human existence. We are called to share in his exercise of power for the good of others, but we do well to remember that God will, whenever we can't or won't.

O Key of David and Sceptre of the House of Israel, who opens and no one can shut, who shuts and no one can open. Come and bring the prisoners forth from the prison cell, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

The temperature dropped to minus nineteen overnight, the sky is misty and there's no wind. Definitely a stop in until you must go out sort of day. Clare has been playing the piano, and Jasmine dancing to the music. Rachel is baking, and discussing the shopping list with John, who flew from work in LA via Salt Lake City to Spokane on the US / Canadian border last night, and is now stocking up before he sets out on the five hour drive north up the Columbia valley towards home. Jasmine is excited that her Daddy will be home for supper, and she's wandering about the house singing.

After lunch we drove to Invermere, so that Jasmine could play with friends, Rachel could take the Jeep in for further repairs, and Clare could go to the gym, to do some work on her dodgy knee muscles, leaving me to sit in the tiny area of Sobey's supermarket devoted to refreshments and free wi-fi, updating Rachel's Mac uploading some of the best photos I've taken this week to  the internet. These can be seen here.

It was dark by the time we'd picked up Jasmine from Windermere village. The winter solstice moon ducked in and out of the peaks on the east side of the valley as we drove home - there's a full eclipse tonight in the early hours, and if the clouds stay away we're in one of the best places in the world to view it. At this stage, John was on the last leg of his journey home from the border. We got back to Fairmont Hot Springs just three quarters of an hour before he arrived, enough time to get a meal ready and a bottle of wine opened. After we'd eaten a welcome meal together, we all went off to a party at the home of the couple who own and run the local ski hill and leisure resort. A most convivial way to meet people who live and work here.

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