Featured image: Cello ornament on one of the Christmas trees at Greencroft Goshen.
Cogitation 50 Saturday 15 December 2018 In the music of Advent I hear and see hope.
For Christians, Advent sets the stage for Christmas. The music of Advent gives voice to the longing for light to penetrate darkness.
In recent Sundays we sang, Longing for light; Come! Walk in the light; O come, O come, Immanuel; Comfort, comfort, O my people; and, I want to walk as a child of the light.” These songs are searching, anticipatory, affirming, resoundingly pregnant with the assurance of hope, peace and love.
Such music helps me come to terms with the social, political, economic, and, yes, religious, juggernaut that holds truth at arms length. It expresses God’s faithfulness through the ages, addressing the anguish of our day.
We spent two days in Chicago, taking in the weekly Myra Hess Memorial Concert at the Cultural Center, a turn through Macy’s, Christkindlmarket, and this year, a visit to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The latter featured a travelling exhibit of Saturday Night Live.
Macy’s, once upon a time Marshall Field and Company
Museum of Broadcast Communications
We enjoyed seeing the special exhibit of what goes into a week of producing Saturday Night Live in New York City, as well as the permanent collection.
In 1988, Janice Wiebe Ollenburger designed this banner which was pieced and quilted by Edith Shanholt. It is called Promise. It is displayed during Advent at Prairie Street Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Indiana. Janice writes:
“We anticipate the mystery of Immanuel, Love breaking into our world of chaos, during these weeks of Advent. This quilt is to call us to that promise.
“Color and pattern are the dominant elements in this Advent quilt. The darkness of the world is expressed in the use of black. Purple represents this time of reflectiveness, a time to prepare for Immanuel. The hope of God’s promise is reflected in the blue moving throughout the piece. The yellow conveys the presence of God’s light breaking into the darkness.
“The log cabin pattern was chosen to provide the ‘world’ into which the light comes. It is a familiar pattern symbolizing home and comfort. The strip of free-form blocks breaks into that world bringing light and new ways of love into the darkness. God comes to us and dwells with us. We wait for that promise.”
The times as they should be can be heard and seen in music in the air.