Thursday, December 10, 2015 … O antiphon for Africa

On Thursdays I like to include another voice and this prayer of Allen Myrick was included in the book Gifts in Open Hands — More Worship Resources for the Global Community.

An Advent Prayer

[May be used in conjunction with the hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
May be read by a single voice, responsively, or antiphonally]

“How long, O Lord?”
“How long?” they ask in Africa.
In camps where homeless hungry wait,
in towns where rebels rape and loot,
in fields where women pull the plows
designed for oxen dead of thirst,
in queues where many wait long hours
to see uncaring bureaucrats,
in streets where congregate young men
for whom a job’s a distant dream,
in chanceries where clerks add up
the debts owed nations far away —
“How long?” they ask in Africa.

In ancient days the prophets gave
to such a query harsh reply:
“Till cities crumble, mighty fall,
till millions die of hunger, plague,
and all the land lies desolate.”
Is that the word for Africa?

“O Come, Emmanuel,” we respond.
“O come, O Shoot of Jesse, come.”
Sprouting Branch, shooting out
from a stump we took for dead,
grow tall and strong, branches spread
to shelter all who seek repose.

“O Come, O Key of David, come.”
Key to every door that’s closed
against the quest for fullest life,
open wide those portals grim
and free the captives waiting long.

“O Come, O Dayspring, come.”
Morning Star, eternal Light,
rise wherever darkness reigns.
Let day break upon the foes
of peace, the purveyors of pain.

“O Come, O come Emmanuel.”

The joy of Peace making in Africa

The joy of Peace making in Africa

Come, lift the weight of weariness.
Bring in the awaited age of hope.
Set all free to sing your praise,
to offer service all our days.

How long? Not long.
Emmanuel is come to us, to Africa.

— Allen Myrick

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