O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (ELW 241, st. 1)
1 O Lord, how shall I meet you, how welcome you aright?
Your people long to greet you, my hope, my heart’s delight!
Oh, kindle, Lord most holy, your lamp within my breast
to do in spirit lowly all that may please you best.
Our Lord comes—and we are left with the question of how to welcome him properly. This is not a question we direct at other people but rather to the Lord himself. The hymn writer knows that only the one coming can be clear about what a proper welcome is. So we who sing along ask the one who is coming to kindle “your lamp within my breast,” with the result that in humble spirit we will do “all that may please you best.” Notice that this is not about offering our best to God; it is about God creating the appropriate welcome for God’s own Advent. Advent is not about our self-made works of welcoming but rather is about the work of God who creates, redeems, and sustains us.
O Lord, light a fire in us. Let it burn brightly, and let us do what pleases you. Amen.