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Five Great Advent Reflections For Unusual Times

Author: Andy Drozdziak, CCR Web Editor

Picture: pxhere

Five Great Advent Reflections For Unusual Times

These great Advent reflections can help us prepare for the birth of our Saviour in the unusual days of Covid-19, says CCR Web Editor Andy Drozdziak.

1. Glory (Let There Be Peace) by Matt Maher

From George Floyd’s murder to the suffering of the pandemic, strife and pain have been commonplace in 2020. The world is crying out for peace. Matt Maher’s song links this yearning with the yearning for the Christ to come and bring peace: “We sing glory, glory, let there be peace, let it start with me.” It is only with Christ living in our hearts that we can be peacemakers: “One star burns in the darkness/ Shines with the promise, Emmanuel/ One child born in the stillness/Living within us, Emmanuel.” The song ends with a wonderful reminder to live free from fear-God’s love is enough: “Do not be afraid-His love is strong enough to save us.”

 

2. We Have Seen The Light by Boyce & Stanley

As Christmas approaches, waiting is often discarded in favour of bright lights and tinsel. However, this year many will be more familiar with waiting, as the world awaits a new vaccine. Phrases like, “We have seen a glimmer of light with the hope of a new vaccine” have become familiar in news reports. Boyce and Stanley remind us of the longing for a Saviour to come and save us: “Those who walk in darkness yearn for Heaven's light/Long to see the one who is to come/ The prophet's word was spoken, a saviour's birth foretold/Generations waiting for a sign.” Our only response to this new hope, the birth of our wonderful Saviour, is reverence and praise: “See the infant King, come and kneel before him/ Because the word is made flesh, Come let us adore him.”

 

3. His Name Shall Be by Matt Redman

Due to Covid-19, burdens, suffering and vulnerability have been on display this year more than ever before. A report  by mental health charity Mind in June 2020 revealed that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health worsened during the first lockdown. Through the incarnation, Jesus stands in solidarity with His suffering people, which Matt Redman captures in “His Name Shall Be”: “He came to lift the weary ones/Give peace and perfect rest/To take away our burdens and to give a glorious gift.” It is only through the birth of the Messiah that we will experience the true love and purpose for which we yearn. Redman reminds us wonderfully that His names-from Isaiah 9- reflect His mission, purpose and blessing for all: "His name shall be called wonderful counsellor, mighty God, Everlasting Father/Prince of Peace for all eternity."

 

4. Deeper Still-Advent Spoken Word by One Hope Project   

Our Advent preparations can be swallowed up in the constant clamour and call to keep up with preparations for a commercial Christmas. One Hope Project remind us that it is in our hearts that we need to slow down: “‘Run run run!’ shout the cars and the ads but my soul is screaming back REST.” This spoken word reflection is a perfect reminder to return to our first love and the real, exciting reason for waiting: “The King of the universe came for me, came for you and He’s coming back once more.” 

 

5. Arise Shine by Rónán Johnston

Advent is about awaiting a Saviour who will bring light from darkness. Rónán Johnston reminds us of the urgent call found in Isaiah 60 to “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” The words “the people in darkness have seen a great light”  are repeated at the end of the song-an appropriate message for this year. Whilst we have experienced illness, disease and the pain of loss through Covid-19, the darkness will not triumph. Our loving Saviour Jesus, the light of the world, still reigns. His light is still greater than all darkness and His Kingdom of love will triumph. As we await our Saviour’s birth, let’s “arise” and “shine” with the same kindness, compassion and light shown by God when He sent Jesus to save us.

Happy Advent.

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