The Seventh Lesson: John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Here and now is where we are
As we spin around the morning star,
But the road extends beyond the bend
And we long to see where it ends.
Bring us joy and grant us peace,
Let us love and give us hope that will not cease.
We will wait for it, your kingdom come,
When our hearts will all be opened into one.
We will wait for it, time and space
Will be shed from us in Your eternal grace,
We will wait for it…
As this particular year comes to a close, we have all gotten used to waiting. Every time we’ve expected to turn a corner during this pandemic, we’ve seen that this road we’re traveling together (while also apart) still has no end in sight. We remember how things used to be and we long for a return to normalcy. However, in keeping Christ, the “morning star” (2 Pet. 1:19, Rev. 22:16), at the center of our lives, we should be good at waiting during this Advent season as we continue to hold on to hope for peaceful, loving, and joyful transformation. As 20th century Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich wrote, “The symbol of the Second Coming of the Christ corroborates the Resurrection by placing the Christian in a period between the kairoi, the times in which the eternal breaks into the temporal, between an ‘already’ and a ‘not yet.’”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. (John 1:1, 3a)
The Word: the cosmic vibration from which springs forth the symphony of creation. From eternity into time and space, God expresses Godself in a sounding – in a song that brings life and light that cannot be overcome. Anyone who has ever lost themselves in the singing of a song would likely agree that we can touch eternity through music. As T.S. Eliot famously said, “You are the music while the music lasts.” This is particularly true in our congregational songs, when we open our hearts to sing our deepest-held beliefs as we literally align our individual frequencies to make one holy sound. Our music helps us realize that “already” and “not yet” are also very specifically “here and now.”
On Christmas Eve, the singing of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World” while sharing the light of Christ symbolically announces the birth of Christ for many Christian communities. In a fitting close to 2020, an unpromising weather forecast has led us to have to change our plans to safely gather on Christmas Eve to worship. There will be no physical gathering; there will be no audible singing together as one, even from our cars. But here and now is where we are, and just as the light continues to shine through the darkness, the song continues to sound through the silence.
As we celebrate the coming of Christ while isolated from our community this year, let us listen for the song in our hearts that still sings…