I remember singing this song one Advent almost 25 years ago at a service at Brent House, the Episcopal Campus Ministry of the University of Chicago. I must have been there for a Province V college gathering of some kind.
Many years later, I ran across this icon from Br. Robert Lentz, OFM. Lentz writes about how the resurrected Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and to the disciples in such a way that they did not recognize him. He goes on to ask whether we today would recognize Christ in others — strangers, or the poor, or the naked, or the hungry.
This powerful image depicts Christ as a Maasai warrior, surrounded by the evangelist seraphim, preparing to open the scroll with seven seals described in Rev. 5:5.
You’ll also recognize in today’s reading a couple of verses that form part of Canticle 18, “A Song to the Lamb” (BCP 93).
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
What does the “kingdom of priests” — the Church, the Body of Christ — look like in your mind? What new images for that kingdom might the Lion of Judah wish you to see today?