But today they gave me one of those musical experiences that you probably only get a handful of times in your life. Which is to say, they sang a song I've heard and sang numerous of times in my life, but it was as if I were hearing it for the first time. And I'm not just talking about the changes in phrasing and melody. I heard an entirely different song.
Who knew "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" so so powerful? Seth said he sang it like he thought Dylan would sing it. When it was over, I seriously wanted to say "Amen," but I was afraid people may think I was joking.
"For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing."
Since the evangelical world has begun to slowly embrace Advent, I think we've done a great job with anticipating the celebration of the first arrival of Jesus, while giving a slight head nod to the fact that we are also looking forward to the second arrival. A baby in a manger is a little more fun to think about than the destruction of this world and the coming of our King. I guess, though, this all depends on who you are.
I really have no more thoughts on this, other than that if you haven't read Leif Enger's Peace Like A River, then you need to. When hearing the song this morning, where it spoke of the day when all the world will echo back the songs of the Christmas angels, a description of heaven in Enger's book was about all I could think about...
"Is it fair to say that country is more real than ours? That its stone is harder, its water more drenching — that the weather itself is alert and not just background? Can you endure a witness to its tactile presence?"