O Antiphons: Day Four, O Key of David


Sarah Stonestreet

For over a thousand years, Christians have sung the O Antiphons in the days leading up to Christmas. Together they comprise a hymn that centers our attention on the glories of Advent and the Incarnation.

From the 17th to the 23rd, we will be sharing the day’s verse along with a short meditation by members of the Colson Center staff.


O Key of David,

Opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom

Come and free the prisoners of darkness!


In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato tells of prisoners who, in chains, are forced to see only distorted shadows of reality on the wall of a dark cave. They are ignorant of their true condition and reality until, one day, a prisoner breaks loose and walks out into the light of the sun to behold reality.

Like the prisoners in Plato’s tale, humanity is imprisoned in darkness, subjected to distorted views of reality. Unlike the prisoners, we are unable to free ourselves from Satan’s deception.

The prophet Isaiah promised that God would rescue Israel by placing His robe and sash on the shoulders of a foretold one and by giving Him the key of the house of David (Isaiah 22:15-25). Addressing the church of Philadelphia, the Apostle John identified Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.

Because Jesus Christ holds the key of David, He has authority to protect the church at Philadelphia, to strengthen it in its weakness, to overthrow the powers of darkness, and to finally establish it in His kingdom (Revelation 3:7-13).

The coming of Christ means that Satan is now the one constrained, and those he had imprisoned are set free. No longer are they subject to distorted realities, counterfeit authorities, and fear. They are released, and through the power of the Spirit, they now join God’s liberating work. They are even granted authority to open the gates of God’s eternal kingdom, and to help release others who lie imprisoned in darkness (Matthew 16:19).


[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series. For the third, click here.]


Sarah Stonestreet is a wife, a mother, the director of community outreach at St. George’s Anglican Church, and co-leads the Colorado Springs affiliate of the Colson Fellows Program.


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