14 December 2009

Advent Week 3: Here Comes the Sun Again

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's alright

We managed our second George Harrison song for worship at church within the last month this past Sunday. It was fun singing "Here Comes the Sun" (and no we didn't opt to change the U to an O, to make it more holy), and the mood correlated well to both the atmosphere of Joy as we lit the pink Candle on the Advent wreath and the joy emanating from the children and families as we had our first Child Dedication.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's alright

While I'm not involved in any way with producing the music, which is great and done brilliantly by Jeff and his merry men (& occasionally women), I am involved with worship planning. Thus, I must apologize. Not for the song, I stand behind the song for this week and this season. I apologize instead for my failure to communicate how this song accurately depicts what is happening during Advent. It was not merely picked to satiate some sort of Abbey Road void or be that kitsch-factor for an upstart church without a lot of rules (though it probably accomplished both). So I apologized if it appeared novel for the sake of novelty or cool for the sake of coolness.

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's alright
It's alright

It's rare that we can sing a worship song using "little darling" with a straight face, but I think we can her. Far from being a merely sentimental bit of (as my high school history teacher used to put it) froth, this delicate affection comes to us from God in a time of cold, darkness, sadness, and despair. God, the 'Lifter-of-heads', then comes and whispers affectionately to us in our hoping and waiting, "Little darling...here comes the Sun...it's alright." This isn't something only the Beatles knew, but is actually the modus operandi of God throughout the history of his relationship to his people. Our job in during Advent (which can be woodenly translated: 'the arrival of a notable person, thing or event') is to not lose hope, and above all, to remember the cold, dark winter before Christ came initially as the Light of world & in preparation and expectation for His second coming in Glory.

To this expectation I share Matt Ward's brilliant addendum:

Kingdoms and queens they all bow down to you,
Branches and ranch hands are bowin' too
And I've taken off my straw hat for you, singing
Here comes the sun again

The leaves on the trees they all call out your name,
Chrome on the freight line shines the same
And the stars in their cars roll their tops down for you singing,
Here comes the sun again

Oh but if you're gonna stay show some mercy today
Blow a little breeze on my face

Snow banks drift down the hillside for you,
Slides inside sandy river before the day is through,
And before evenin' falls I may find myself there too, singing
Here comes the sun again

Isaiah 60:1-5, 19-21 (emphasis mine)
1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.

Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear. Make us an expectant people, hopeful and comforted by you. Light us, warm us, grow us with your presence. Amen.

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