Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent 2015

"Sing Over Us"


             Sometimes people ask what my favorite bible verse is.  For years the answer has always been the same:  Zephaniah 3:17.  "The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (nkjv).

             I have always loved music, and because music has and does play an important role in my spiritual formation, I think I am drawn to the image of God rejoicing over us with singing.  In the darkest moments of my life I have turned to music and heard the voice of God reminding me darkness is not the end - in a way, God used that music or song to "sing over me."  It is as if God said to me, "keep will see...there is hope in this darkness."

             It reminds me of the story of Vedran Smailović - a cellist in the Sarajevo Orchestra.  During the siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian War, Smailović made a practice of going out into the bombed-out city to play his cello.  He dressed in his formalwear, climbed onto the rubble, and in the midst of mortar shells he would play.  In the middle of chaos and darkness beautiful music would echo through the streets in remembrance of the dead of Sarajevo.  As one musician wrote, Smailović's actions were a "protest of the darkness, [with] chaos all around."  His music sung hope in the middle of crushing darkness.

              I wonder if this is part of Zephaniah's message - a message that reminds us that in the long, dark nights of winter, in the long, dark nights of the soul, in the long, dark periods of life, God is in the business of protesting the darkness in our lives.  Zephaniah reminds us God sings a song over us - a song of hope whose lyrics speak to the light of the world.  It's as if God sings to us, "keep will see...all will see...Christ is hope in this darkness."


- Josh Brewer


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