O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Keys are very familiar objects. I think every baby ends up with a set of play keys. For the baby, they make great teething articles. As we grow older, we begin to realize that keys are more than bright, shiny, plastic toys. They are functional objects. They lock and unlock doors. They start cars. They get us in places that are restricted to others.
In short, keys become symbols of power and of release.
The prophet Isaiah spoke about the coming of a Messiah. He told the people, “I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder. When he opens, no one shall shut; when he shuts, no one shall open.” Jesus used those same words when He told Peter that He was giving him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When I was a chaplain in prison, keys were very important. They were one of the objects, more than most others, that the inmates longed to secure. The proper key, it was felt, could garner a prisoner release.
There is much truth to that statement. The proper key does garner a prisoner release. We had been prisoners of sin and death and Jesus, the Key of David, came to unlock the gates of heaven for us and to open the doors of death so that we might gain eternal life.
Too many people are in prisons: prisons of doubt and dark, prisons of fear and trepidation, prisons of hate and evil, prisons of discouragement and despondency. They often believe that there is no one or nothing that could save them from their plight. But they are wrong. The Key of David can easily open the bonds that keep them fettered to sin and release them to a new and glorious promise.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are locked in sin, that they may allow the Lord to unlock what binds them and set them free to live in a new life and to love the Lord once again. Reflect upon the verse of this Advent hymn:
O Come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.