November 29, 2009

Advent in Song: Once in Royal David's City

Our first song for advent is "Once in Royal David's City". The choice of song is especially appropriate today, as the prophet Jeremiah makes the connection to David (Jer 33:14-16). Jesus would be a "just shoot" - a branch in King David's family tree. In a few weeks, we'll be hearing about Christ's birth from the line of David. (Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of that line.)

The song tells us that "He came down to Earth from Heaven, who is God and Lord of all...". It does not remain fixed on the manger in Bethlehem, though. It goes on that "He leads His children on to the place where He has gone. Not in that poor lowly stable...but in Heaven...". As we begin Advent and prepare Christ a place in our hearts and lives, we should remember where Christmas takes us. In order to follow Jesus and reach Heaven, we must follow Jesus. "He is our childhood's pattern" as the song goes; for we adults, He is our pattern as well. Jesus is our model. And Jesus' path leads to Calvary and sacrifice.

The Gospel today (Lk 21:25-28, 34-36) reminds us of this. It might seem like quite a buzz-kill after a nice Thanksgiving and a few days decorating and shopping. Suddenly, we're hearing about the end of the world? The Gospel tells us to be vigilant and pray for strength. We don't know when we will find ourselves before Christ, and we should always strive to be in closer relationship - in communion - with Christ.

Think, then, what you can do this week to better model Christ. Find a part of your life where you have not let Christ in, and make Him more a part of it. Don't be caught napping; don't be caught in a moment or place where you haven't allowed God to be present.

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