1 Hark, the glad sound! The Savior comes,
the Savior promised long;
let ev'ry heart prepare a throne
and ev'ry voice a song.
2 He comes the pris'ners to release,
in Satan's bondage held.
The gates of brass before him burst,
the iron fetters yield.
3 He comes the broken heart to bind,
the bleeding soul to cure,
and with the treasures of his grace
to enrich the humble poor.
4 Our glad hosannas, Prince of peace,
your welcome shall proclaim,
and heav'n's eternal arches ring
with your beloved name.
We announce the coming of the Messiah with this hymn. The season of Advent has begun. We prepare ourselves for the Savior's birth in our lives. As we do so, we find ourselves -- like the characters in the 1985 movie "Back to the Future" -- in a time warp. God's promises from the past now become a future that redefines our present.
Even now, we can claim by faith the promises of mercy and justice that the prophets of old declared: Valleys will be filled. Mountains and hills will be brought low. What is crooked within and around us will be made straight, and rough edges will be smoothed.
Yes, even now, we can claim God's promise of a new future amid whatever we are facing. Even now, our hearts can become a throne -- a place or a dwelling -- where the Messiah abides. Even now, our voice can start singing a new song.
O God, we claim by faith your promise of the Messiah, our Savior. Create in us a new heart and give us a new song amid everything that is happening in our lives. Amen.