The liturgical season of Advent us again upon us. It is a time of waiting and anticipation for Christmas. During this time, we remember the promises of old and stories about our Messiah, and in so doing, we wait for Christ’s return. Our pastor has a tradition of focusing all of the weeks of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany into a certain theme. For the past four years, I have had the honor of designing art for each theme. This year’s theme is “Songs of Peace.” As our congregation journeys through Advent this year, we will be also be celebrating with psalms. It will be interesting to combine the traditional songs of this season with the ancient cries of hope and longing from the psalms.
This year’s art brings the wonder of Advent in communion with the wisdom of the psalms in the image of a shepherd. The pastoral scene is of a young shepherd with his or her flock. The shepherd sings songs of God and dances to the dawn of a new day. It is a scene full of HOPE, JOY, PEACE and LOVE. The spring colors of this painting contrast what we are used to seeing this time of year. They reflect the contrast of the Advent season. Although our days darken towards winter, the Church grows brighter towards the Advent of the Light of the World. In this painting, you may see mountains echoing joyous strains of “Gloria.” You may see green pastures to restore the soul. The Songs of Peace span the testaments of scripture. They have been sung centuries. They remind us that our hope in God’s promise should not lose its resolve.
This Advent season, may you sing the ancient Songs of Peace, and dance in the dawn of Emmanuel.