O Rex Gentium – O King of the Nations
Therefore thus says the Lord God, See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: ‘One who trusts will not panic.’ Isaiah 28:16
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
Following on from O Oriens where the rising sun dawns on all peoples O Rex Gentium expands focuses on the Nations, or the Gentiles. It draws our mind to those who were not part of the Jewish idea of ‘the People of God’. There is more here though than saying that Christ is for all, or that all are welcome. The words of O Rex Gentium, echoing Isaiah, are a call to reconciliation for all of creation.
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4
Throughout his letters St Paul draws this together pointing that in Christ Jews and Gentiles are one, calling for reconciliation in all God’s people (that’s everyone!)
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. Ephesians 2:14
In three comings of Christ thinking, Christ’s death and resurrection broke down the the dividing walls. The coming Kingdom is a place of peace. In the hear and now God is present in the reconciliation of people and nations, and with those who work for peace.