In the Dark, Still Night of Advent – From Your Lay Leader

t_Stars004In the dark, still night, at the dawn of time
Shone a pure beam, the brightest light of any ray.
For the Morning Star, part of God’s own plan
Sang the love song, of His redeeming love for man.
Morning Star, shine into this world of ours below.
Send your warm rays to lighten all our darkest days.
Light of light that shined when the world began,
Enter every heart of man. *

At the start of each Advent season, during quiet times by myself, I begin singing the song above. I first learned it over 30 years ago while helping to teach it to our sons, then aged 5 and 6, as a part of a Christmas musical they were in called Three Wee Kings. Of course the song holds special meaning for me because of the memory of that time with our sons, but also because the words seem to embody so much of the love and longing and hopes that both God and man seem to have for each other.

What holy peace there is in knowing that, “at the dawn of time”, the Lord in His care and hope for us, already had a plan for the Morning Star, Jesus, to come into “this world of ours below” with a redeeming love that would flow to all like music in the air. The sure promise of this “pure beam” of God’s love-light given into our lives is dear to my heart.

It is from our hearts that the hope and longing for something that can “lighten all our darkest days” springs. The darkness of the days we live in may seem different each time we approach this season, but it is just manifestations of the same darkness that needs to be cast from our hearts—that of selfishness, anger and hate. During this time, led by the church and its celebrations of the coming of Christ—past, present and future, we turn expectantly toward the light and love of our Lord. We show our love for Him by letting His light shine in us and through us to others who may not know where to turn to escape the darkness.

For me, the last lines of this song are like a prayer that I believe many earnest Christians pray. And that is that Jesus, the light of the world, will truly “enter every heart of man”. Because that is likely the only way the world will ever achieve “Peace on earth and goodwill toward man.”

-Susan Hendrix

* (From Carol of the Stars by Daniel Sharp, Betty Hager & Fred Bock)

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