Friday, December 14, 2007

Lo He Comes: Part I

During Advent when I was a girl, I remember sitting around the living room, lighting the candles, the glow of my mom and dad's and sister and brother's faces. Each reading little passages from the bible, and singing this song. We sang others, but this is the one I remember most.
The tune has a somber quality, like a great crescendo, and to me, it is the essence of Advent.
The words alone, without music, may not convey the sense, but let's try:

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train;
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Lo! He is coming! Our heart's desire, coming back for us; what a great hope! This is what we cling to in this time of deep winter, waiting for the light. The light is promised, we know it is coming. It dimly flickers in our hearts even now, but not is yet shining in the glory of day. This morning I waited for the sunrise with the boys, looking out the window, watching the deeply colored sky lighten after the long night, but it was a long time before we finally saw the sun itself.
Thousand thousand saints attending; the thought that you and I may be numbered among the great crowd of saints on that day is almost too much to think of.

More tomorrow; the song gets better and more mysterious, but isn't it just so different from the holiday bustle, all the whistles and bells of the Holidazzle season?

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