Christ the Sovereign

Christ Pantocrator.jpeg

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-3, 14

 

To be a follower of Christ, one must be okay with paradox.  The Incarnation is a perfect example.  It is here that we find Jesus Christ as 100% God and 100% man.  Jesus is fully divine and fully human at the same time.  It is during the season of Advent that we begin to glimpse the fullness of God's plan as he sends his Son, full of grace and truth, Sovereign over all, to be the redemption of the world.  The prophets foretold, the people waited, the way for Messiah was being prepared.  The Sovereignty of Christ was ready to be on display.

 

About the Art:

Christ Pantocrator is one of the oldest surviving icons of Christ, dating from the early 6th century.  It is found in the treasure house of St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt.  In the icon, Christ is robed in a purple tunic, a color signifying royalty.  He is holding a copy of the Gospels in his left hand while his right hand is raised in blessing.  The icon depicts Christ as both Ruler of all (our Judge) and Savior of the world (our Salvation).  The right side of his face (from the viewer's perspective), shows Christ as the Judge who sees all, while the left side depicts him as the Savior who looks upon us in mercy.

 

About the Music:

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence is an ancient chant based on the text of Habakkuk 2:20, "Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”  It was composed in Greek as a Cherubic Hymn for worship in the fourth century AD, with local churches adopting arrangements in Syriac. Ralph Vaughan Williams’ (1872-1958) arrangement of a translation from the Greek to the tune of Picardy, a French medieval folk melody, popularized the hymn among Christian congregations.

The group performing this particular arrangement are the Biola University King's Men, a six member, vocal a cappella ensemble.  Their director, Walt Harrah, arranges the music they sing.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Lyrics:
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,                       
And with fear and trembling stand;               
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,                     
For with blessing in his hand, 
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.                                 

Rank on rank the host of heaven                      
Spreads its vanguard on the way,                    
As the Light of light descendeth                        
From the realms of endless day,                       
That the powers of hell may vanish 
As the darkness clears away.      
Hosanna, Hosanna (4X)

At his feet the six-winged seraph,                    
Cherubim, with sleepless eye,     
Veil their faces to the presence,                        
As with ceaseless voice they cry:                    
Alleluia, Alleluia,            
Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord Most High:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!