Each December, there is an unspoken lament that weighs heavy on my heart. The lament stems from unanswered questions and unhealed griefs. The sudden death of Pastor Bob Vaage has re-opened the wounds. Bob's funeral will be on the date of my own father's sudden death in a farm accident near Nora Springs, IA. I still ache for that vibrant life cut short by death. I still yearn for just one more conversation. One more hug.
Yearnings and grief haunt us during this Advent season. Some of our Advent hymns voice those yearnings through melodies that are are dissonant or chords that are unfinished. This is true for the Advent hymn from Korea, "Come Now, O Prince of Peace."
The words for this hymn were written with 2 Corinthians as the text for the "world conference for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula," according to the ELW Hymnal Companion pg. 11, and is "used all over the world as a prayer for peace, love, freedom, and unification or unity."
Using a haunting melody, the yearning seeps into our private laments for relationships that are broken or unfinished. We ask God to come into our secret longings and gift us with gems that can only come from God's own heart. We remember our brokenness and we plea for forgiveness and reconciliation with God and with one another.
Let us pray: Creator God, re-create our relationships. Heal our silent pain. Focus our energies on your divine in-dwelling Son who walks with us and comforts us so that newness will happen.
A challenge: What unspoken yearnings haunt you this Advent season? Which unhealed griefs still linger? With whom will you share them?
Pr. Jen Henry, Bethany Lutheran, Spencer