Saturday, December 13, 2014

Before Him Shall Peace, The Herald, Go

"Hail to the Lord's Anointed" by James Montgomery is more upbeat and joyful than a lot of Advent hymns. Advent may be a traditionally penitential season (even if we don't always consider it that way), but there is great joy in what we await.

Hail to the Lord's Anointed, 
great David's greater Son!  
Hail in the time appointed, 
his reign on earth begun!  
He comes to break oppression, 
to set the captive free; 
to take away transgression, 
and rule in equity.

We are not waiting just to wait. Christ does not come simply to come. Christ comes as the Promised One, the One who sets free, the King.  We look around and see oppression, wrong, and inequality, but because we await the One who sets all things right, we do not lose hope. We believe that the Lord's Anointed comes in the time appointed and reigns on earth and in heaven forevermore.

We light a candle for hope, and we hail the One who was and is and is to come.

He comes with succor speedy 
to those who suffer wrong; 
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong; 
to give them songs for sighing, 
their darkness turn to light, 
whose souls, condemned and dying, 
are precious in his sight. 

Christ is hope, strength, and light. We feel ourselves enveloped by darkness, suffering, weakness, and wrong, but the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining (1 John 2:8). The Lord comes, but more than that, the Lord comes to us and for us. The Lord comes to comfort -- to give strength through togetherness. The Lord comes to fulfill needs, to help us sing a new song, and to be Light. And in all of these things, the Lord comes to us because we are precious in the Lord's sight. The Lord comes out of love for us. The King is not just a warrior, not just a king of power and might; our King is also Holy Love.

He shall come down like showers 
upon the fruitful earth; 
love, joy, and hope, like flowers, 
spring in his path to birth. 
Before him on the mountains, 
shall peace, the herald, go, 
and righteousness, in fountains, 
from hill to valley flow.

All good things come from the Lord, and the Lord nurtures all good things on earth and in heaven. And so the coming of God with us is accompanied by love, joy, hope, peace, and righteousness.

We are a world in need of peace. We are a world crying out for peace, a world longing for the right. But peace is the Lord's herald, so to find peace we need only turn towards God.

We light a candle for peace, and we seek the One who was and is and is to come.

To him shall prayer unceasing 
and daily vows ascend; 
his kingdom still increasing, 
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never 
his covenant remove; 
his name shall stand forever; 
that name to us is love.

The kingdom is not only to come but is coming. Our waiting is not passive; it is active. We are the Body of Christ on earth. We are God's vessels here. We pray, and we vow, and we obey, and God's work is done through us. God works, the kingdom increases, and we marvel. We hope in God's promises which are forever, we seek the kingdom which is forever, and we praise the name of Christ our King, who is forever.

Our King is Holy Love.

No comments:

Post a Comment