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.
I pray to be strong, loving and fearless!