O Adonai et dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento.
O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the flaming bush and on Sinai gave him the law, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm.
O Holy One with the unnamable name,
how I long for you!
You are a warrior god,
a fiery presence.
You defend without end the people you claimed as your own.
Come, O powerful redeemer,
open wide your arms in our defense.
December 18, and seven more shopping days until Christmas. The O-Antiphons conjure up God’s fiery presence in a burning bush. Bed Bath & Beyond advertises a Feng Shui Candle Gift Set. The candles “follow in the tradition of feng shui—a way of living harmoniously with the natural environment.” The burning bush, on the other hand, seems quite destructive of the harmony of the natural environment, even if it did not actually consume the bush. From the description of the gift set, I learn that each Feng Shui candle “represents one of the elements believed to affect one’s fortune according to Ancient Chinese legend.” I assume that the burning bush is an “Ancient Hebrew legend” that would not help sales of anything much this Christmas season. The Feng Shui Candle Gift Set, on the other hand, comes with “instructions on finding your element and even what direction to face your candle while burning it”—all for $14.99.
Come, warrior god, fiery presence, powerful redeemer, open your arms wide to defend me. But against what? The Feng Shui Candle Gift Set cannot possibly be the enemy. What, then, is? There are five more O-Antiphons and six more shopping days to ponder these questions.