“You, walking in darkness;
You, living in the land of night;
you have seen the light.”-Isaiah 9, John Hermanson
Five years ago, singer/songwriter John Hermanson released an album called “Isaiah” which includes a collection of songs inspired by the words of the Old Testament prophet of the same name. The prophet’s words and the coming season of Advent have been linked ever since the church began its practice of preparing for the joy of the incarnation celebrated on Christmas. Isaiah speaks to the already and not yet qualities of God’s presence. Similarly, John’s music leads its listeners into a deeper contemplation of God’s activity, both that happening now and that still longed for.
Another Advent is now upon us and this congregation moves into another season of preparation and waiting. We celebrate all that God is already doing among us while also longing for God to come and do more. What are you celebrating today? What are you waiting for that only God might deliver? These are the questions will be our constant companions over the next five weeks.
We were blessed to have John perform a number of songs from “Isaiah” here at Prince of Peace as a part of our own Advent explorations a couple years ago. We tapped our toes and hummed along to his warm melodies and Isaiah’s rich imagery. Even before Covid forced us all online, John offered web-based performances during the season of Advent, playing his way through the full album every night at the same time. This has become a treasured Advent practice for my family and even if we can’t find his performances this year, we’ll listen through this album each night.
To assist in your own preparations and celebrations what Advent practices might you rely upon this year? I would encourage you to not rush too quickly towards Christmas but linger a some with the already and not yet. The light that is coming soon will be all the more impressive if we first spend some time adjusting our eyes to the darkness.
May God’s peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter
Let us pray,
God of the already and not yet, give us courage to walk in the darkness, to live in the land of night. Give us patience as we prepare for the splendor of your light to come. Amen.