The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/01/1998):

Hidden Message for Advent
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is taken from an ancient Christian text.

Here we are between the first two Sundays of Advent and I suppose that many of
you are in churches that sang (or will sing) the great hymn of longing, "O
Come, O Come, Emmanuel." There are seven stanzas in the earliest version, but
in the original (12th-century Latin), the seven verses were meant to be sung
at different services on the seven days prior to Christmas Eve. "Our" first
verse (O come. O come, Emmanuel) was actually the seventh. In the early
plainsong version, these verses are known as the GREAT ANTIPHONS or the "O"
ANTIPHONS because each one started with the word "O."

But wait; there's more. [Please read carefully.]

The anonymous poet (or poets) who put these texts together, did an amazing job
of including a most delightful hidden message–a special meaning for a special
time of year.

Here are the beginnings of the seven verses:

1. O Sapientia (Wisdom from on High) – December 17
2. O Adonai (Lord) – December 18
3. O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse) – December 19
4. O Clavis David (Key of David) – December 20
5. O Oriens (Dayspring, Light from the East) – December 21
6. O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations) – December 22
7. O Emmanuel (Emmanuel, God with Us) – December 23

What's so special about that? Well, there is a wonderful acrostic message
build into the structure of the verses. If you take just the first letter of
the words that follow the initial "O" of each verse, you get "SARCORE," which
means absolutely nothing; but if you turn those letters around, you get:

"ERO CRAS," which means "I will be tomorrow."

In other words, on December 23, the long-expected Jesus is saying, "Tomorrow's
my birthday." The various prophetic names used in the text (Key of David, King
of the Nations, Wisdon from on high, etc.) were selected and ordered in such a
way that they pointed to the coming of Messiah. WOW!

[And so we pray and sing, "Come, thou Wisdom from on high, Lord God, Rod of
Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of the Nations-O come, Emmanuel. You are

Have a great day!

Chip Stam
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina