Barbara Lundblad shares with us an alternative text for one of my favorite Advent Hymns – “O Come, O Come Immanuel”. She captures in such a beautiful way the yearnings of Advent for us in real time:
We are hopeful…so hopeful…
We desire to be free from weapons…
To be liberated from despair and apathy…
To be used so that justice will be made real for the poor, for children – for all of us.
Advent is more than just a season on a calendar to me. It’s an orientation, strategy – a lens.
We are actively “WaitingWorkingWitnessing” (I just made that word up, that’s what preachers do when we can’t find an existing word to fit what we are trying to say!) – waiting for God to dispel the night and working with God as a witness against every shadow, a witness for the power of God’s big amazing restoring love to give us victory over every conceivable grave, to revive every “withered place”.
That’s the everyday work of advent messengers.
O come, O come Immanuel
And bless each place your people dwell
Melt every weapon crafted for war
Bring peace upon the earth forever more
Rejoice! Rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s Chosen One, Immanuel draws near.
O come, green shoot of Jesse, free
Your people from despair and apathy;
Forge justice for the poor and meek,
Grant safety for the young ones and weak.
O come, now living water, pour your grace
And bring new life to every withered place
Speak comfort to each trembling heart:
“Be strong! Fear not, for I will ne’er depart.”
O come, dear child of Mary, come
God’s word made flesh within our earthly home
Love stir within the womb of night
Revenge and hatred put to flight.
Words by Barbara K. Lundblad