Students sitting outside Bockman
Previous Day

Sunday, December 11, 2016

For the Advent season we are looking back and reflecting on the previous week's readings.

Savior of the nations, come;
virgin's son, make here your home.
Marvel now, O heav'n and earth:
God has chosen such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood,
but the mystic Breath of God,
was the Word of God made flesh,
fruit of woman, blossom fresh.

Wondrous birth--oh, wondrous child--
from his throne, a virgin mild!
Very God, and Mary's son,
eager now his race to run!

From God's heart the Savior speeds,
back to God his pathway leads;
out to vanquish death's command,
back to reign at God's right hand.

Now your manger, shining bright,
hallows night with newborn light.
Night cannot this light subdue;
let our faith shine ever new.

Praise we sing to Christ the Lord,
virgin's son, incarnate Word!
To the holy Trinity
praise we sing eternally!

"Savior of the Nations, Come" Text copyright 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. No further reproduction or distribution allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.

Our Advent hymn invites us into deeper contemplation of Christ's journey. The English translation however misses a line found in the original German. In the English, Christ comes forth from God's heart and speeds back, vanquishing death on the way. In the original, mention is also made of Christ's descent into the realm of the dead (or hell) as part of this journey and then, from there, to God's right hand. But what does the descent into hell have to do with Advent? God's coming, the incarnation, touches all aspects of life. There is nothing that is left untouched, not even death, not even the realms that seem furthest away from God, not even those places inside us we dare not look at or enter ourselves. God touches all of life and death within us and our world and God touches it all without ever hurting or wounding. Only God can touch us in that way.

O God, turn our deserts into blossoming gardens. Touch all that is dead within us, raising up hope and life again. Amen.

Dirk G. Lange
Associate Dean, Graduate Theological Education and Fredrik A. Schiotz Chair of Missions and Professor of Worship, Luther Seminary

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.