November 29, 2015
"Comfort, Comfort, Now My People"
"Comfort, comfort now my people; Tell of peace!"  So says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness  Mourning under sorrow's load.
To God's people now proclaim  That God's pardon waits for them!
Tell them that their war is over; God will reign in peace forever!
Straight shall be what long was crooked,  And the rougher places plain!
Let your hearts be true and humble,  As befits his holy reign!
For the glory of the Lord  Now on earth is shed abroad,
And all flesh shall see the token  That God's word is never broken.
                                                                  Text:  Johann G. Olearius, 1611-1684
                                                   translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878
                                     Tune: Trente quatre pseaumes de David, Geneva, 1551
                                      Lutheran Book of Worship
     Reading these timeless words and considering what they have meant to people over the centuries provides a connection to our ancestors in the faith and gives us some perspective on the fears and sorrows we experience in our own generation.  To realize that the text was written in the 17th century, and the melody is another century older, reminds us that the people of God have needed to receive comfort from the heavenly Father, and then were (and are) called to proclaim and share that comfort.  This hymn is a statement of faith, that God does not leave his beloved children mourning in darkness, but brings them the promise of his holy reign of peace.

     This is the week during which we take some time to express our gratitude for all the blessings in our lives, and to appreciate so many of the little things that are often what give us the most happiness.  Then we make a sharp turn toward Bethlehem, and enter the season of Advent, the short four weeks of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, God's own Son in human form, a gift like no other.  How do we respond?  How do we understand?  How do we share this story?  We listen to the words, we sing the songs, we open our hearts, and God will work through us.  So listen, pray, sing, contemplate, comfort those who sit in darkness, and always remember that God's word is never broken!
Your friend in Christ,
Mary Rogers


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