Advent 2 & Lullaby

Gentle Reader,

Please forgive a slight departure from today’s lectionary texts, but this post from fellow ACW member Steve Dawson smacked me round the chops like a damp haddock, and I felt it right to repost her, in its entirety.

You’ll find plenty of Advent links below and your liturgy resources at the the bottom.

May you be blessed.

Lullaby

I remember some years ago sitting with members of my family as my Dad was taking his last breaths on this earth. At some point he seemed to struggle and be unable to settle. One of my relatives said  “Someone should pray.” Of course, all eyes suddenly turned to me, as I’m the one who professes to be a Christian!

So I prayed out loud. I have no idea of the words I spoke, but what I do remember was that he settled and became peaceful as he slowly passed away. Oddly, what I also remember is that as I prayed, I could hear a song in my mind, spirit, soul… I have no idea what the words of the song were and not really the tune, but knew Dad was hearing this as well.

It was a song, a tune of beauty, peace, love, calmness, gentleness, safety.

And then I remembered I had heard this tune before. A friend of mine used to sing this song to her children. I was taken back in time to a child’s bedroom, where a child was restless, disturbed, struggling.

Mum cradled the child and began to sing that song. I can’t remember the words or the tune. What I do know is that it was a tune full of love, peace, hope, safety, and as Mum sang the sense in the room was of the overwhelming love of a mother for her daughter, but also a deep bass note of the height and the depth and the breadth of the love of God, for the little one, and for all the rest of us in that room.

In that moment we were in the very throne room of the King of Kings, not just called there, but welcomed there, desired by the King to be there.

I’ve pondered those two moments many times over the years, unable to articulate in words what the atmosphere of those moments were. I’m trying again here to capture that sense and still it is like catching the wind. I sense it, I feel it but it just will not be restricted to words, written or spoken. But, perhaps, I’m not the only one to have heard that song.

I wonder if, after the earthquake, after the shattering of rocks, after the blazing fire and the violent wind (1 kings 19 v11-12) the still small voice, the gentle whisper had at its core that song, that tune, and Elijah went to the mouth of the cave in security, to be assured by God that he was known, cared for and important.

I wonder if in the exultation of the angels at the birth of the Saviour of the world, in the midst of the fanfare, the baby heard that gentle lullaby, and rested secure and comforted?

I’ll bet Mary sang that song.

I wonder if David, after trying on the armour and spear to face Goliath, went out, and despite the clamour of the Philistines and the roars and mocking of the giant, heard that song?

I wonder if Moses, when turning aside to see the bush that burned and yet was not consumed, when the voice called out to him, to approach, take off his shoes and stand on Holy ground, heard that song?

Or Samuel, being called in the night?

Or Jesus, when asking for the cup to be taken away.

On the Cross in the darkest hour, was He sustained by that lullaby?

And in the depths and stillness of the tomb in which he was buried, was the birdsong of the new dawn accompanied by that song to gently awaken and build to a crescendo  as life surged back into the newly Risen Christ on that awesome Easter Morning?

In the town on the Feast of Pentecost, as the flames descended and the wind roared with mighty strength, was, as the praises of God were heard in a myriad languages, was that gentle, sustaining melody at the root of all that was happening?

I bet it was.

Lord, I long to hear that lullaby again and again, for it speaks of the safety, the power and the security of the one who has all of us graven on the palms of his hand.

For, although the lullaby speaks of sleep, it looks beyond, to the morning, when we awake, and are strengthened for the day.

That song permeates the throne room of heaven, the vaults of space and time, yes even the very depths of hell, speaking of the wisdom, majesty, power, gentleness and above all the unbounded and endless love of God to his children. Yes even to me, His child.

Maranatha!

© Steve Dawson 2022


Advent Resources

In case you missed it last week, here is a busload of Advent links

Christingle / Advent Resources from The Reflectionary

Advent Resources

Daily Meditations

There lovely images and prayers come from Vanderbilt Library’s lectionary resources. There is an image and a prayer for each day of the four weeks of Advent (example below from Advent 1). Perfect for individual or group use. The whole set would make a lovely Advent Quiet Day, or how about projecting them in church as a lead up to worship each week?


Liturgy Resources for Advent 2

Advent 2   Sun-04-Dec-2022

Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

Confession and Absolution

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary;
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Behold, a shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding.
With righteousness he shall judge the poor.

Judge us with righteousness and mercy, O Root of Jesse.
Baptise us with your spirit
and teach us wisdom and understanding.

May the God of all mercy
pardon and deliver you
and may you be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

May the God of hope
May the God of hope
fill us with all joy and peace
fill us with all joy and peace
so that we may abound in hope
so that we may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.
Amen.

Go in this hope, joy and peace to serve your Lord,
this day, this week and for ever.
Amen.


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