Dear Advent Pilgrims,

Our journey to Bethlehem is guided by the songs of Advent, hymns written to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ. It is a series based on one of my earliest books, titled Songs for the Waiting: Devotions Inspired by the Hymns of Advent. You can purchase the book here.

We also encourage you to sign up for daily emails and weekly text messages that offer excerpts from the book, as a way of connecting all of us on the journey each week. 

Starting today, and for the remainder of Advent, the Midweek Message will feature reflections on the upcoming hymn by Dr. Michael Dougherty,our Director of Traditional Music. He provides historical, theological, and musical insights on the hymn, to prepare us for each Sunday. 

“I WANT TO WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT”

Kathleen Thomerson wrote both the text and the tune to the hymn “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.” Both are straightforward and transparent.  The language in the text is simple to understand, but it reveals great depth of meaning and biblical allusion. 

The simplicity comes from the repetitive “I” statements which come in pairs and seem to answer a simple question: “Why?”

“I want to walk as a child of the light.” (Why?) “I want to follow Jesus.” 

“I want to see the brightness of God.” (Why?) “I want to look at Jesus.” 

“I’m looking for the coming of Christ.” (Why?) “I want to be with Jesus.”  

Five of these six opening statements also have the word want,” and, indeed, what is the question we ask children at this time of year? “What do you want for Christmas?”  In this hymn the answer to the “I want” is not a “you can have,” but rather a greater “why” – Why do you want it at all?

The answer is found in the Refrain of the hymn: Jesus is the light to brighten our darkness.  

In him there is no darkness at all. 

The night and the day are both alike. 

The Lamb is the light of the city of God. 

Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

Blessed Advent!

 

CHRISTMAS WEEK AT HYDE PARK UNITED METHODIST

Visit our website for the full schedule of events and services through the month of December, and we invite you to volunteer to serve as a campus greeter during one of our Christmas Eve services. 

 

ESTIMATE OF GIVING UPDATE

We are amazed and grateful by the very strong start to receiving our estimate of giving cards. We are on pace and even a bit ahead of where we were this time last yearand we have a long way to go. If you haven’t yet submitted your estimate, you can do so quickly and privately here. Thank you to the many of you who have already turned one in. Your efforts help guide the Finance Committee in planning for another exciting year of Making God’s Love Real. 

 

 

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