Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I love Advent, and I always have loved Advent. It used to be a big deal in Sunday School when I was little. During Advent, all the kids would meet in the Social Hall before we went to class, and we would light the Advent wreath and talk about Advent and on work on one song during the season. One year it was "What Child Is This", and we talked every week about what "laud" meant. I think I remember that year because that was the year I got chosen to light one of the Advent candles. I was so excited that afterwards, I ran and found my big sister and said "Guess what? I lit-ed the Advent Calendar!" She hasn't let me live that down yet. Anyway, the other thing we talked about was how Advent was like getting ready for a party- you have to make your house all clean and pick up the mess before you have a party, and Advent was that preparation time. It made sense to me then, and it makes sense to me now. On that note, let me give you this link. Its an online Advent Calendar from the Diocese of Washington. So far it looks beautiful, and a lovely way to keep the season for those of us who look at our computers a little too often. Just don't try to light it!

But in Chapel tonight, we sang a different kind of song about getting ready. The hymn just really struck me... partly because it was fairly unfamiliar, which is a small category at this point when we're dealing with the Hymnal 1982, and partly because I just didn't know what to make of it all. Why don't you all give it a gander, and let me know what you think?

Hymn 573
Father eternal, Ruler of creation,
Spirit of life, which moved ere form was made,
through the thick darkness covering every nation,
light to our blindness, O be thou our aid:
thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.

Races and peoples, lo, we stand divided,
and, sharing not our griefs, no joy can share;
by wars and tumults Love is mocked, derided;
his conquering cross no nation wills to bear:
thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.

Envious of heart, blind-eyed, with tongues confounded,
nation by nation still goes unforgiven,
in wrath and fear, by jealousies surrounded,
building proud towers which shall not reach to heaven:
thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.

Lust of possession worketh desolations;
there is no meekness in the powers of earth;
led by no star, the rulers of the nations
still fail to bring us to the blissful birth:
thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.

How shall we love thee, holy hidden Being,
if we love not the world which thou hast made?
O give us brother-love for better seeing
thy Word made flesh and in a manger laid:
thy kingdom come, O Lord, thy will be done.
-Words by Laurence Housman, 1919

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