Advent, Day 2: Come Light

LOOK: Distant Hope by Bruno Walpoth

Walpoth, Bruno_Distant Hope
Bruno Walpoth (Italian, 1959–), Lontane speranza (Distant Hope), 2015. Nut wood, 80 × 41 × 32 cm.

LISTEN: “Come Light” by Gregory Thompson, on Lamentations by Bifrost Arts (2016)

Kindle the flint, the tinder
Liven the hearth, the stone
Shelter the dying lantern light
Gladden the shadowed home
Into this wilderness of shadows
Come, Light original

Answer our famine yearning
Nourish our blighted fields
Raise all our fallen storehouses
Leaven the bitter yield
Into this emptiness, this hunger
Come, Bread all-bountiful

Out of the blowing starlessness
Over the frozen sea
Into our barren midnight
Up from the fruitless trees
O come

Loosen the cloaks of journeymen
Mend all the broken roads
Wake us from fitful forest sleep
Lighten the lonely load
Into this pilgrimage, this journey
Come, Home perpetual

Dr. Gregory Thompson is a minister, civil rights scholar, author, and producer whose work focuses on race and equity in the United States. He was the senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, when the music collectives Bifrost Arts and later the Porter’s Gate were founded by Trinity worship arts director Isaac Wardell, and his leadership was deeply influential in that work. His contributions to those two music projects extend even to the writing or cowriting of some of the songs that made it onto the albums: “The Zacchaeus Song” (Justice Songs), “O Jerusalem” (Lament Songs), and of course “Come Light” (Lamentations). The latter two he sings on the recordings.

“Come Light” is poetry as prayer. Come, Light of Light, into our shadowy wilderness. Come, all-bountiful Bread; feed our hunger. Come lighten our loads and make straight our paths as we journey Home into your very heart. Such beautiful words, full of yearning, enhanced by the plaintive tune that carries them.

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