Monday, December 24, 2012

Standing Guard

It's not as short of a fourth week of Advent as it could be, but the time of preparation comes quickly to an end.  This translation of the German "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", originally from the pen of Philipp Nicolai and harmonized famously by Johann Sebatstian Bach, reminds us to be be like good sentinels:
Wake, O wake, and sleep no longer,
For he who calls you is no stranger;
Awake, God's own Jerusalem!
Hear, the midnight bells are chiming
The signal for his royal coming:
Let voice to voice announce his name!
We feel his footsteps near,
The Bridegroom at the door--
Alleluia! The lamps will shine
With light divine 
As Christ the savior comes to reign.
Zion hears the sound of singing;
Our hearts are thrilled with sudden longing;
She stirs, and wakes, and stands prepared.
Christ, her friend, and lord, and lover,
Her star and sun and strong redeemer--
At last his mighty voice is heart.
The Son of God has come
To make with us his home:
Sing Hosanna! The fight is won,
The feast begun;
We fix our eyes on Christ alone. 
Glory, glory, sing the angels,
While music sounds from strings and cymbals;
All humankind, with songs arise!
Twelve the gates into the city,
Each one a pearl of shining beauty;
The streets of gold ring out with praise.
All creatures round the throne
Adore the holy One
With rejoicing: Amen be sung
By ev'ry tongue
To crown their welcome to the King.
Ero cras.  The Bridegroom will soon quit His chambers.

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