Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut,
regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue,
Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun
and her salvation flames up like a torch.
Foreign countries will see your righteousness,
and world leaders your glory.
You’ll get a brand-new name
straight from the mouth of GOD.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of GOD’s hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your GOD.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because GOD delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your GOD is happy with you.
—Isaiah 62:1–5 (The Message)
The lyrics of “Fairland” are adapted from the poem “The Little Beach-Bird” by Richard Henry Dana (1787–1879), with the bridge referencing Jesus’s words to his disciples in John 14:1–3: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” These are the words of a bridegroom to his bride.
Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou so melancholy,
And with that boding cry
Along the breaker fly?
O rather, bird, with me
Through the fair land rejoice!
Come and go with me
Back to my Father’s house
To my Father’s house
Come and go with me
It is not difficult to see, . . . in his dreamlike images of adorned and beautiful Jewish brides, Chagall’s aspiration for the redeemed daughter of Zion.
—David Lyle Jeffrey, In the Beauty of Holiness, p. 347
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To view all the Revised Common Lectionary scripture readings for the Second Sunday after Epiphany, cycle C, click here.