The lessons today proclaim the Words of eternal life that we see, hear, and touch in the life of Christ. This Christ has come into our lives anew in all of these sensual ways this Christmas season. But the joy we celebrate with the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus during special holy days (or is it holidays?) is not complete if we do not enter into the fellowship of Christ with the Father all year long. That fellowship allows us to sustain the joy and peace of the holidays if we think of every day as a holy day…as a chance to proclaim the Lord of all the earth. But what to proclaim? The Psalm for today says “the heavens proclaim his justice and all the peoples see his glory…..be glad….let the earth rejoice.” To me, that means we much proclaim justice as an expression of our joy and gladness. There are lots of ways we can do that with our lives, but one way we can also do it is with singing. That is why the church promotes so much singing during the holidays. But those who celebrate the fellowship of Christ keep singing and rejoicing in the Lord and proclaiming his justice all year long, not just at Christmas time.
Here is a new song I learned at my church during the Advent season that I have been sharing with everyone. I think it works any time and is well worth learning. The lyrics were written by Rory Cooney in 1990 to the Irish traditional tune “Star of the County Down.” You can listen to various choral and solo performances of this song on YouTube. I include the words here so you can sing along. I hope you enjoy the experience.
Canticle of the Turning
Verse 1: My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great.
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on the servant’s plight, and my weakness you did not spurn.
So from East to West shall my name be blest, Could the world be about to turn?
Chorus: 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.
Verse 2: Though I am small, my God, my all, you work great things in me.
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame, and to those who would for you yearn.
You will show your might, put the strong to flight, for the world is about to turn.
Verse 3: From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more, for the food they never earn;
These are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed, for the world is about to turn.
Verse 4: 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 forbearers heard is the promise which holds us bound.
Till the spear and rod can be crushed by God, who is turning the world around.