A new hymnal introduces an Advent hymn new to me:
Rejoice, rejoice take heart in the night. Though dark the winter and cheerless, the rising sun shall crown you with light; be strong and loving and fearless. LOVE BE OUR SONG AND LOVE OUR PRAYER AND LOVE OUR ENDLESS STORY; may God fill every day we share and bring us at last into glory. (Marty Haugen, 1983)
It is after all about Love, this Advent-Christmas thing. And I survey the way Love is being poured out and shared this season:
- someone works diligently at getting all the tasks done before a child returns home from college, so that there is ample time to listen and to admire and to be of use.
- someone puts in the time in rehearsal and practice to sing the anthems and carols for the services to come this week.
- someone sits at the bedside of a stricken one with patience and presence.
- someone grieves over the home going of a cherished one.
- someone prays for the world—South Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, the Philippines—and more…
- someone runs errands for the housebound neighbor, taking care of quotidian tasks that require mobility and energy.
- someone crafts a new sermon full of Hope and Light to offer to those who come Christmas Eve without either Hope or Light.
- and there are toys collected, meals packed, soups ladled, animals adopted, and contributions made to those equipped to feed the hungry, devastated and lonely.
It is for Love’s sake that we wend our way through Advent, and in the days we have left, we are called do do whatever we do lovingly. So in the Advent hours I have remaining, I look for ways to Love. I offer this blog as a Song of Love for the constant Presence of the One who who has come and is coming again. I lift up Prayers of Love for the lonely, the bereft, the anxious, the depressed, the hopeless, and those who walk beside them. I tell the the Story of Love that came down at Christmas in the ways I love the ones I will encounter–friends, neighbors, worshipers, and beloved family.
I pray to be strong, loving and fearless!