Saturday, December 17, 2011


Ahh, a return to blogging.
So long it's been, friend. It's nice to see you.
I just posted my final paper for my media administration and management class, which means I have no grad school to worry about for the next few weeks. It also means I can return to my normal granola self. It was a quick and unsurprising lesson that business classes and I don't mix. But fortunately, it's now laid to rest and I can spend my sleepless (due to work) nights finally pondering this season of Advent that has sneaked up upon me.
Because, inevitably, this time of year, I'll occasionally catch a fleeting thought of the weight of it all and need to just sit and contemplate the wonder.
I didn't grow up in a church that talked much about Advent. My experience of it was limited to little chocolate treats taken out of colorfully decorated cardboard calendars. But then something marvelous happened: I started studying theology.
During my time as a theology student at the University of Sioux Falls my brain often took in more than it could handle. I would often walk out of classes barely able to speak, in total awe of this new found wonderment I was suddenly allowed to question and mull over. One such class that consistently had me walking out, mouth agape, needing to simply sit and process was a class on Exodus with Dr. Brian Gregg. Thinking back on it, this may have been the most formative class of my entire education and perhaps entire life. There was Israel, an entire nation, wandering in the desert with nothing but some manna and the hope of a promise. Those that know me know well that I suffer from the blessing of wanderlust. Needless to say, Israel and I seemed to have a lot in common.
It was near the end of that semester when I found myself singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" in church on Sunday evening. It was a song I had heard countless times before. But this time the lyrics hit me like a truck barreling down the highway. The theological weight of the song bowled me over and it has since become my favorite Christmas carol. Nay, Advent song.
Ransom captive Israel. Mourning in lonely exile. God, come be with us.
What a thought, that God, this unknown, imperceivable, inconceivable, distant thing, decided to become one of us, so that we might have light. We might have hope. We might have home. I'll never understand it and will most like simply sit, this time each year, and contemplate the beautiful madness of it all.

What great Hope is this
That finds us here
In mourning and lonely exile
And tells us to
For though we are captive
We have been ransomed
By nothing less than a
Light that shreds the darkness
Turns mourning to dancing
And brings the exiled home

Shall come to thee, O Israel

This, my favorite version of my favorite Advent/Christmas song. I hope you enjoy it and allow yourself to simply sit and contemplate the idea of God made man.


  1. I LOVED this post. I had never considered the words of O Come O Come either, although it is one of my favorites. Thank you for illuminating the topic for me. ;)

  2. Thanks, Marie! It's nice to be writing stuff I want to be writing again. :) Also, nice word choice with illuminating. I'm telling you, you should write. :)