advent day two: the weary world rejoices [guest post]

Today I've got a guest post from my brother, Brendan. There is absolutely no nepotism involved here, he is just really great. ;) Originally posted over at The Parish Anglican blog. Brendan and his wife, Lindsay, are part of the launch team for The Parish and are some of my favorite people. Brendan is a stellar musician and blogs about art, music, and creativity at and Lindsay writes on productivity, creativity and social innovation at Read on for Brendan's thoughts on entering the season of advent with steadiness and intention... Oh, and the chalk art? Yeah, that's my dining room. 

Advent: Day Two || sarah writes || sarahsandel.comEddie spoke to this yesterday, and I find that the same is true in my life: the Christmas season has a tendency to rush by in a flurry of lights and ribbons and reindeer and gingerbread, the nativity mingled in among the decorations. There is much to distract and detach us from the wild mystery that is Christmas – Jesus, God born as a human baby to impoverished parents, laid in a hay box in a small Palestinian town over 2,000 years ago. I hope that together we can pause to think about these strange, miraculous details despite the busyness of the season.

The Collects and Canticle for this week are helpful to me in understanding some common threads in today’s readings. The Collect prayers each invoke the presence of God, His guidance in our lives, and His defense against the evils of the world on our behalf. Zechariah’s song represents an answer to those prayers, celebrating the faithfulness of God to come to His people as He promised. In each of the readings some aspect of that dichotomy is present – the desperate pleas of an afflicted people longing for peace and the faithful God who makes good on His promised deliverance, continually healing our lives.

My favorite line in ‘O Holy Night’ is “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.”  Some days I am more in touch with my weariness than others. When the voices of “many are saying to me, ‘there is no help for you in God,’ ” (Ps. 3:2) it takes everything I have to believe “the Lord hears when I call to him,” (Ps. 4:3).  Then there are the days where I find myself thrilled with hope “as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19), and the humble Christ rides into my heart, triumphantly as he did in Jerusalem (Matt 21).

Today, let us become more aware of this dichotomy in our own lives: moments of desperation and anxiety, coupled with the faithfulness of a God who never fails. This back and forth is the expression of the of the gospel story in our lives, as we are daily moving from darkness into light.


Yes, friends! The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and His life in us expresses the already-but-not-yet moving from darkness into light. Let us, as the weary world, work in tandem with His Spirit to exchange the holiday frenzy for intentional rejoicing. Fall on your knees. He is all and He is enough.


Oh, and if you'd like to know more about the Book of Common Prayer references Brendan made ("this week's Collects and Canticle"), [click here] to view The Parish's 2013 Advent Project. They helpfully explain some of the liturgical phrasing and practices.



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