Death's Dark Shadows

"Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and Death’s dark shadows put to flight….O come Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind. Bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our King of Peace." -- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


Tucking my kids in last night, they asked for a Christmas song. I began to sing, and they quickly overruled, “No Dad, on the phone.” So I pulled up the above version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”


As I cuddled with them and listened to the song, I grew sad. The hearts of all mankind are not bound together. Our sad divisions have not ceased. Even though Emmanuel has come, the peace He left is still inner, and not universal. It is still partial, not total. It is still mirrored, not pervasive. 


Sad divisions have caused 300,000 deaths in Syria over the last six years, with estimates being that about 200,000 of those are civilian deaths. The United Nations is no longer tracking the number of civilian deaths. 


Sad divisions are also preventing us in the Church (big “C” meaning the worldwide network of Christians throughout the Earth) from giving refuge to those fleeing this tragedy.


During this season of Advent, let us the Church become a people whose hope softens our hardness; whose peace overcomes our panic, and whose souls rise above our desire for security; lest we, as Christ warned, lose our lives by saving them. 


May we be a people of God who help to put Death’s dark shadows to flight.