O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (ELW 241, st. 2)
2 I lay in fetters, groaning; you came to set me free.
I stood, my shame bemoaning; you came to honor me.
A glorious crown you give me, a treasure safe on high
that will not fail or leave me as earthly riches fly.
What chains or fetters bind you—addiction, hatred, stereotyping, violence, doubt, fear? The list goes on. Whether a result of your own actions or of the actions of others, they cause pain, harm, and shame. The promise is that the Lord comes to set us free from our chains. And not just that—the Lord goes further to honor us and give us crowns. Rather than being prisoners at the bottom of the social scale, we find ourselves at the top, wearing a crown. A crown is traditionally worn by a ruler, one who is not ruled by another. Martin Luther reminded us that God gives us all that God possesses and takes all that is ours (Luther called this the “happy exchange”). So we receive the crown, and God takes our chains. The coming of the Lord results in a radical reversal— all to our benefit.
O Lord, thank you that in your coming you have freed us and crowned us. Amen.