Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Hope in the Age of Darkness: Gifts of the Incarnation

Psalm 24

Today’s reflection is a hymn. Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates was written by Georg Weissel and only appeared in 1642, seven years following his death. It was written during the terrible Thirty-Years’ War between the protestant leaders and the Catholic Emperor. The suffering of war, the disease, and the famine of that age are legendary.

(you can read more about the history of this hymn here)

The lyrics are profound for us as we face the darkness today. They speak of gates … not gates in literal walls … but gates to our hearts. Pay attention to the words as they reveal how we ourselves are vessels of God’s incarnation through us.

(for those who prefer to sing (or hum) with accompaniment, you can find organ/piano accompaniment here)

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates;
behold, the King of glory waits;
the King of kings is drawing hear;
the Savior of the world is here!

Fling wide the portals of your heart;
make it a temple, set apart
from earthly use for heaven’s employ,
adorned with prayer and love and joy.

Redeemer, come, with us abide;
our hearts to thee we open wide;
let us thy inner presence feel;
thy grace and love in us reveal.

Thy Holy Spirit lead us on
until our glorious goal is won;
eternal praise, eternal fame
be offered, Savior, to thy name!

As Weissel shares these beautiful words amidst a darkness unlike he could ever have imagined, so too, we are invited to hear them in our own personal and collective darkness.

O Light Who Shines in Darkness: May the gates and portals of our hearts be open to the revelation of your Christ! Amen.

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