The Hidden King; My Sixth Advent Sonnet

The sixth great ‘O’ antiphon, O Rex Gentium, calls on Christ as King, yet also calls him corner stone and pictures him getting his hands dirty and shaping us with clay, wonderfully incongruous combination!  But he is the king who walks alongside us disguised in rags, the true Strider! In this Sonnet I also reflect on on how God shapes us through all that happens to us in our living clay. He hasn’t finished with us yet!  You can hear the antiphon and poem by clicking on the play symbol or on the title of the poem. for an excellent series of reflections on Christ as our maker and shaper, why not check out Diana Glyer’s Clay in the Potters Hands? There is more about the antiphons to be found at Umilita

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one, 
Come and save the human race,which you fashioned from clay

O Rex Gentium

O King of our desire whom we despise,
King of the nations never on the throne,
Unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone,
Rejected joiner, making many one,
You have no form or beauty for our eyes,
A King who comes to give away his crown,
A King within our rags of flesh and bone.
We pierce the flesh that pierces our disguise,
For we ourselves are found in you alone.
Come to us now and find in us your throne,
O King within the child within the clay,
O hidden King who shapes us in the play
Of all creation. Shape us for the day
Your coming Kingdom comes into its own.

unfound foundation, cast-off cornerstone


Filed under imagination, literature, Meditation, Poems

8 responses to “The Hidden King; My Sixth Advent Sonnet

  1. Pingback: Advent Celebration cum Pipe Smoking Priest « Joffre The Giant

  2. I see Christ in the darkness, which, In this sonnet, there is none.

    • malcolmguite

      On the contrary there is darkness in this whole sequence, see especially O Clavis, and also in this one which is dealing specifically with the cast off, the unfounded, the rejected, all terms you will find in the poem Carl. The context of darkness is precisely why Advent is a time of watching waiting and longing for a light we do not yest fully see. I’m not sure you’re reading the poem I wrote!

  3. Pingback: Inspirations_0110 “Great O” Antiphons and Advent with Malcolm Guite « God's Word Blog-Creative Christians Podcast and Inspiration/Generations podcast sponsored by God's Word Collectible Gifts

  4. Pingback: The Hidden King | Vox Veniae

  5. Rachel

    Who’s your desire, your ruler, your root heart?
    “If governments knew how subversive contemplative prayer is, they would ban it.”
    (Desmond Tutu)

  6. Pingback: O Rex Gentium – Preferring Nothing to Christ

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