Despite the title, I promise this is still about Advent.
I missed posting yesterday, because I had to prepare for a presentation that I have tomorrow. So, today, I will try to succinctly discuss not one, but TWO (2) hymns.
The first is #90, “Wait for the Lord,” a Taizé piece. Taizé is a type of worship music that comes from the Taizé community in France. This community is like an intentional ecumenical religious residential community that is open to all.
The song “Wait for the Lord” was written by Jacques Berthier from the Taizé Community (Communauté de Taizé) and copyrighted by GIA Publications and the Ateliers et Presses de Taize, an independent publishing company in 1984.
The lyrics are as follows:
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord. Keep watch; take heart.
This hymn is based on Psalm 27.14: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
The way Taizé music works is that congregations or choirs repeat simple choruses. The music is useful for worship, prayer, and/or meditation. Imagine sitting in the sanctuary or in a chapel or any quiet space. The lights are low, and there may be candles lit. You’re all singing softly, just above a breath.
Seriously. Close your eyes. Can you picture it? What are you doing? Are you singing with the congregation? Are you quietly praying? Now, read the following excerpt and then read it again. On the second reading, try to imagine yourself in the story. Do you identify with a particular character? Or are you an observer on the sidelines?
Luke 1.26-38, NRSV:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
So, what did you see? Maybe you identified with Mary. A grand dream or promise has been placed in your heart. It seems too good to be true, but, like Mary, you are putting your trust in the Lord, accepting that the Lord’s word to you will never fail.
Or, maybe, you identify with Elizabeth. You’ve been in pursuit of your dream or promise for as long as you can remember, and finally–FINALLY–it is coming to fruition. You are in a season of celebration because, even though you know intellectually that nothing is impossible with God, now you have actually experienced it.
If you were just observing, what did you see? How did it make you feel?
In either scenario, is there anything that you sense the Lord telling you through the perspective that you were led to take?