advent week 3: joy

ornamental grass gone to seed

[During Advent this year, my friend Matt and I are posting weekly on the season’s common themes: hope, love, joy, and peace. Read Matt’s latest post at Pillar of Cloud.]

I’ve written before on the elusive nature of joy. I could write more, or I could just say this: that’s what Advent is for.

Advent is for longing for the things that are not here yet. Advent is for praying for them, for trusting that God has not forgotten, for asking him to come soon with joy in tow. It’s so easy for me to wallow in the not-joy, but Advent isn’t for wallowing—it’s for waiting.

In a rare moment of sitting down at the piano, I came across this lovely song of Marty Haugen’s—My Soul in Stillness Waits. Of all the Advent songs I’ve sung this season, this one seems to capture best the active waiting—the asking—of Advent. (And that second verse! Man, it nails it.)

My Soul in Stillness Waits

For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits,
truly my hope is in you.

O Lord of Light, our only hope of glory,
Your radiance shines in all who look to you,
Come, light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.

O Spring of Joy, rain down upon our spirits,
Our thirsty hearts are yearning for your Word,
Come, make us whole, be comfort to our hearts.

O Root of Life, implant your seed within us,
And in your advent draw us all to you,
Our hope reborn in dying and in rising.

O Key of Knowledge, guide us in our pilgrimage,
We ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain,
Open to us the pathway of your peace.

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