One of my favorite Advent devotionals this year isn't actually a devotional, it's the newest album by the band Mumford and Sons entitled Delta.
I am not exaggerating when I say this: Delta has my vote (not that it matters) for "Album of the Year." Go and get this album. Download it. Buy it on CD from stores that still sell them. Or better yet, go down to an actual record store and buy it on vinyl.
The opening track has been speaking to me today. It's entitled "42" for reasons I can't seem to discover on the interwebs. No matter. The lyrics are pure Advent:
But what if I need you in my darkest hour?
And what if it turns out there is no other?
We had it all
If this is our time now
We wanna see a sign, oh
We would see a sign
So give us a sign
I need some guiding light
The first time I heard this song, I felt myself getting choked up and teary-eyed. It was one of those strange moments when you feel like you could have a seriously hard cry if you let yourself. Come on. You know you have those moments now and again.
Anyway, what I felt was this surge of hope inside of me as I listened to the lyrics I just shared. It was modern day Isaiah 9:2 moment---a word from a prophet/poet if you will:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.And the ancient Hebrew prophets were definitely poets, so there's that.
Listen, if you want to understand the deep complexity of the spiritual moment you happen to be occupying, you can definitely call a systematic theologian and they will break it down to you chapter and verse.
But if you want to find words to express how it makes you feel to occupy a spiritual moment, you call upon a poet. Because a poet can say things like "The people walking in darkness..." and we get that. Or they can say, "What if I need you in my darkest hour?" and we get that, too.
And we also know what it feels like to want a sign, desire a sign, long for a sign and then the sign comes in a great guiding light that cannot be overcome by the darkness no matter how hard the darkness tries.
May it be so for you today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.