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Savior of the Nations, Come!

December 7, 2020

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14

Yesterday, the church commemorated St. Nicholas, a saint remembered by people the world over. He’s a big deal; after all, the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas runs through the generosity of St. Nick. Maybe you found some candy in your sneakers yesterday morning. And, he got into fistfights with heretics (allegedly). Today’s commemoration will likely go unnoticed by most, but St. Ambrose is worth remembering.

Born near the end of Nicholas’s life, Ambrose was elected Bishop of Milan, at which point he had to get baptized, too! He was scholarly and reverent. As bishop, he gave generously to the poor. He played a large part in the life and conversion of Augustine, and is believed to have baptized him. Ambrose was also a significant figure in the development of music in the church. He introduced hymns from the Eastern church into the West, and Ambrosian chant was named in his honor. He also wrote hymns, one of which we sang at Grace on the First Sunday of Advent, “Savior of the Nations, Come.” What a gift to sing these ancient words of faithful Ambrose as we, like him, await the final return of Christ.

Shining stable in the night,
Breathing vict’ry with your light;
Darkness cannot hide your flame,

Shining bright as Jesus’ name.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Lord, in this days that are short and cold, we praise you for the warmth of your Son. May his light guide our living today; may the Spirit you send warm our hearts to faith and service. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: St. Ambrose, Matthias Stom, 17th century (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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