So, third Sunday in Advent yesterday and I cried through virtually the entire service. The songs, the Bible verses, the message, the people, and probably the fact that I’ve been sick and exhausted converged to create an atmosphere conducive to a river of tears.
It started when we sang “Angels from the Realms of Glory”. Beautiful song, I guess. I just never paid that much attention to it aside from the fact that I love singing the harmony. So I’m sitting there singing along enjoying the sound when a phrase caught me: Sages, leave your contemplations. Is this song (poem actually), written by a Scotsman almost 100 years ago exhorting the wise to stop contemplating? reflecting? thinking? The words got stuck in my throat and no more sound came out. That’s when the tears started. I don’t claim to be a sage, but I do contemplate all the time. So what made me cry?
Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star;
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!
Being given permission to stop thinking – to allow my souls heart to hear and feel and accept Truth without analysis – was liberating. The idea that “brighter visions beam afar”, visions in which the mystery cannot be solved, visions that are too far above any human understanding, was comforting and yet requires, for me, another letting go. Constant surrender, that’s what this life is. I hate being stuck in my brain, yet it’s easy and familiar and safe. The idea of leaving that safe place for the bigger and better and unfathomable is scary. Yet letting go…leaving these earthly contemplations…feels like chains falling off…
The words Paul wrote to the Ephesian church come to mind…
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
*bold emphasis mine