Each page of this Musical Calendar from 1st December includes a link to one of the “Tiny Advent Poems” by Amy Scott Robinson and Richard Lyall. Why not give them a try during this season?
Songs of Hope and Future
This years Advent Calendar explores the theme of “Hope”.
On hearing the news of a possible Covid 19 vaccine, a friend said to me: “it has … given us … a glimmer of hope”.
My friend is not alone.
“I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us so much cause for hope,” (US President-elect, Joe Biden.)
Hope is defined as an “optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes to events and circumstances either in our personal lives or in the world at large.” On that basis, for many of us hope has been in short supply this year. I, for one, have moments when I have felt quite despairing and near hope – less.
Near but not quite there …
Even in my darkest moments I hang onto the slender thread that, even in the difficult times we are going through, there is still much that can gift us with “hope and future”.
Often it can come quite unexpectedly. Something I hear, see or read can gift me with a shaft of hope-filled light. On another occasion that something maybe a “someone” who blesses me and others with loving kindness. Kind and generous souls who go the extra mile. Those who persevere with acts of graceful generosity and selfless care. Public figures who demonstrate a sense of compassion and justice and show a desire to build up the common good. All this is pure gift, releasing within me a sense of faith that speaks into my very soul: “All will be well “. Yes: a deep and abiding sense of optimism and expectation. Some would describe it as being found and held by Love … I would describe it as being held in the presence of God.
Advent and Christmas have at their heart a message of Hope and although Christmas will be different for most of us and harder for many, it can still gift us with a call to hope. Hope in the “Word made flesh”: Immanuel … “God is with us”.
Music can be a key way in which hope can be “felt” deeply in our lives. It impacts our moods. Times of lockdown have seen an explosion of music creativity. People have sung and played from driveways and balconies, choirs have sung to their communities via mobile phones and lap tops … nothing will stop us from making and listening to music.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question “What music brings you hope?” This is the question I asked a number of friends and throughout Advent their musical choices will find their way into this calendar. As you use it, ask yourself the same question. Then let me know. I will be more than happy to include your hope-filled tune in the calendar.
The Christian Advent tradition celebrates the coming of Jesus to earth through His birth in Bethlehem. In most church calendar traditions, Advent officially begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day: in 2020 this is 29th November.