The Once and Future King

Have you noticed how so many of the great stories we tell contain elements of the greatest story ever told – the story of Jesus?

Years ago, I read T.H. White’s own retelling of the Arthur legend in his masterpiece The Once and Future King. When King Arthur is mortally wounded, his sword is thrown into a lake while he is carried in a boat to the island of Avalon in hopes of a miraculous healing. That’s why Britons can hold onto hope that one day Arthur will return, reclaim his sword, and lead them to victory over their enemies.

For the Christian, our hope is not fanciful or mythical. Our hope is sure and certain. Just as certainly as Jesus entered our world, lived, died, and rose again – he will also return. He is the once, future, and forever King eternal.

The Christmas hymn “O Come, O Come Immanuel” expresses this trust in what Jesus has already accomplished, as well as confident hope in what he has yet to accomplish in the future. That old hymn, written in the 1800’s, is actually derived from a Latin chant that dates to as early as the 8th century. Each verse draws out the meaning for different names and title of Jesus with a different stanza sung each day in the week leading up to Christmas. You might consider making the 6th verse your prayer during this season…

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
And bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
And turn our darkness into light.

However, dark the night becomes, our Morning Star provides warmth and light. To help you live in that light this season, each Wednesday during December you can find a new devotional video with reminders of hope, peace, love, and joy at If you’re looking for ways to stay connected with distant friends and family, you could even share the link with them or invite them to the online Christmas Eve Candlelight service.

O Come, Bright Morning Star,


P.S. In the weekend service, find your place in the Christmas story God is still writing by learning about the Unusual Suspects that make up the original Christmas story.

Titus O’Bryant
Teaching & Executive Pastor of Ministries