Dear Christ Church,
As we near the end of our sermon series, Becoming Tenders of the Garden, here are some creative ways to engage Advent with God’s good news of restoration of all things.
The Music. One of my kids shared a song with me a few years ago that caused me to drop everything I was doing, arrested by the beautiful and haunting sound. And that was before I even knew what it was about. “She Waits,” by the Grey Havens, is inspired by Romans 8:18-25; “she” refers to “the creation [that] waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed,” at which time “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
One of the songwriters, David Radford, once shared in an interview that it first dawned on him, listening to a teaching by John Piper on this text, that the fullness of creation’s glory–and ours–are bound up together in the second Advent of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the title track of their concept album exploring the hope of heaven, when we shall see Him face to face. And here’s another album with multiple artists, From Smallest Seed, recorded in partnership with A Rocha, an international Christian conservation organization.
The Book. I’ve just discovered a book that’s playing with the same Advent themes we are in our sermon series, how all creation waits for shalom. Heaven and Nature Sing: 25 Advent Reflections to Bring Joy to the World, by Hannah Anderson. This book just won Christianity Today’s book of the year in the category for “Bible and Devotional.” From the publisher: “Joy to the world—the Lord has come!” We sing these words every year, but what does it mean that the Creator came to his creation as a baby? How exactly does the ‘earth receive her King?’ What does it sound like when rocks, hills, floods, and plains echo his praise? And what would it mean for you to join in the chorus?”
P.S. In case you missed it, please take a moment to read this recent letter from the Vestry and Rector.