Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
till the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.
My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn.
Canticle of the Turning, verse 4. Text: Rory Cooney.
© 1990 GIA Publications. Used by permission Onelicense.net #713169-A.
Though we sing the the hymn, Canticle of the Turning, multiple times throughout the course of the church year, its verses are perhaps most poignant during the fall and the season of Advent. Our lives and the life of the world must have time for renewal. Exponential personal growth, busy-ness, hurry, worry, or accumulation all eventually cause us to strain under their great weight (regardless of how good and necessary we believe those things to be). Our spirits require rest and revitalization.
Though we enter into cultural seasons that invite us into whole new realms of concern, I invite you to remember at the end of this year, that it is indeed God’s “promise that holds us bound.” All things belong to God and that includes us, and we too are delivered from the crushing grasp of whatever it is in our lives that tries to bind us.
The greatest gifts we can receive in this anticipatory season are the eyes and mind to perceive the extent to which God’s own self is intertwined and enmeshed with all creation, including you. These seasons of Advent and Christmas challenge us to allow our conception of God to expand–indeed–to struggle with the implications of what it means to hear the announcement of the angels that “to us is born a savior who is Christ the Lord.” God is not separate from creation. God is in, with, and through creation—bringing it to new life.
In the turning of your world this fall, may you know new life in Christ.
Peace and Blessings,