O Come - Key of David
O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Like all the O Antiphons, this one draws on Isaiah's prophecies, in this case:
I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David;
what he opens no-one can shut, and what he shuts no-one can open.
Isaiah 22:22 (ANIV)
Of course all you Revelation junkies out there (and sometimes reading Revelation seems to be a bit of a dangerous drug...) know that John picks up on this image in the letter to Philadelphia where he writes:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.
What he opens no-one can shut, and what he shuts no-one can open.
I know your deeds.
See, I have placed before you an open door that no-one can shut.
Revelation 3:7-8 (ANIV)But Jesus at one point layed into the Pharisees saying, among other things:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces.
You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Matthew 23:13 (ANIV)
The key to God's kingdom has been entrusted to his church (let's not get into an argument about Peter's place in all of this)... But I worry at times that we've become a bit security conscious...
I've got a few elderly members of my congregation, brought up in the more trusting times and environment of the Lower Newtownards in and around the Second World War... no-one had anything worth stealing and they just left their front doors open so their friends, family and neighbours could just wander in and out of their house as pleased them. So nowadays, with the advent of Yale locks, they simply leave their keys stuck in the outside keyhole of their doors most of the day, and see nothing wrong in that...