Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Music of Advent - 1st Sunday - Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

First Sunday of Advent Psalm 65
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Charles Wesley, 1744

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

We begin the Advent journey with a prayer—a plea for the coming of the One who would free God’s people, heal the sick and liberate the oppressed, the fore-told Messiah.  God enfleshed and living among us and with us that we may come to know God in a human way—a God who can relate to humanity as we never understood before.  This prayer is the inhalation of breath just before we hold it for a moment.  It literally takes our breath away.

As you begin Advent, do you find that you are holding your breath?  Waiting.  Perhaps the waiting is one of anticipation of good things to come—family gatherings, church activities, communities events, parties.  Or perhaps the waiting is one of dread—memories of loved ones gone, of bouts of depression or anxiety, fear of the future, pain.  Maybe we even have a little of both anticipation and dread as the Advent season begins. 

Advent is a time of prayer, a prayer of petition for all that troubles us and a prayer of praise for all that blesses us.  This prayer has been echoed throughout all time, from the beginning of Creation to the end of our existence—Come, Lord come. Show us the Divine, that we may reflect God’s glory, even in the midst of troubled or joyous lives.

The psalmist, the singer of songs of praise and petition, writes in Psalm 124, a tale of remembrance of God’s provision of salvation in the turmoil of life.  Much like we anticipation the saving work of God through the Christ, the one who delivers.  Let us remember as we begin this season of waiting...

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.  Psalm 65:5

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