|I am the Door|
|Better to Reign in Hell than Serve in Heaven|
|Naming the Divine|
The parable of Christ as the gate in John 10:6-9 expresses one of the central underlying themes of the Old English Advent Lyrics: the theme of Christ as door to salvation. It is here explored largely in three perspectives: salvation bought through the incarnation and crucifixion, salvation through the mercy of Christ at the Last Judgement, and through Christ as teacher, as lara lędend (guide to the teachings, Christ I l. 141), who opens the mysteries of Scripture to those who sincerely aim to increase their understanding in order to better praise the name of the Lord.
Christ is the door, or key, to the understanding of Scripture, itself a path to salvation. This understanding is acquired through meditation upon Scripture, and once acquired, becomes a means of meditation upon the glory of God. The urgency of employing thought and wisdom in the glorification of God is inherent throughout the Advent Lyrics and repeatedly explicitly stated. I will propose within this paper that the lyrics themselves can furthermore be understood as a vernacular exemplum on mediation, as a demonstration of a discipline that enables such a deeper understanding.
'I am the Door: The Old English Advent Lyrics as an Exemplum for Meditative Discipline'
Ecclesiastical History Society Summer Conference, Lancaster
And Basis for Kalamazoo (May 2006)