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Advent – Song of Hope

2007 December 5
by Julie Clawson

As the theme of Advent this week is hope, I wanted to share the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that celebrates that hope. I have always found David Wilcox’s songs to hold truth in their very self-awarely simple and folksy way. The album this song is from, Into the Mystery, didn’t leave my cd player for about a year after it was released as I let the songs seep in. I keep coming back to this song though because of how beautifully it captures the hope of the incarnation. Enjoy.

If it Wasn’t for the Night

If it wasn’t for the night
So cold this time of year
The stars would never shine so bright
So beautiful and clear

I have walked this road alone
My thin coat against the chill
When the light in me was gone
And my winter house was stilled

When I grieved for all I’d made
Out of all I had to give
On the eve of Christmas day
With no reason left to live

Even then somehow in the bitter wind and cold
Impossibly strong I know
Even then a bloom as tender as a rose
Was breaking through the snow
In the dark night of the soul
In the dark night of the soul

If it wasn’t for the babe
Lying helpless on the straw
There would be no Christmas day
And the night would just go on

When it seem that death has won
Buried deep beneath the snow
Where the summer leaves have gone
The seed of hope will grow

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. December 5, 2007

    Those verses are beautiful — painfully, achingly beautiful. I love the image of the rose breaking tender through the snow.

  2. December 6, 2007

    I have loved that song for years, and am planning on working it into my sermon this sunday on Advent Hope. thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. December 7, 2007

    The last stanza is moving. Thanks for sharing this with all of us. I will be looking for that CD soon. Perhaps it will stay in my player a while as well. Nice to be on this journey with you.

    Blessings and HOPE!


  4. Susan Guyer permalink
    November 23, 2010

    What do these lyrics have to do with the Hope of the Christ to come? (which is the purpose of Advent)

    • Susan Guyer permalink
      November 23, 2010

      There seems to be a lot of “I’s” in this song – which seems to be more selfish – and the song to be more self-pitying.

  5. November 23, 2010

    We wait in hope, just like the people waited for the coming of the Messiah. Sometimes going through the darkness helps us better see the light. It is both an individual and a communal act of waiting and accepting – and it does not always resolve the way we expect it to. No one expected the babe laying helpless in the straw, but God shows up in unexpected ways. God must break into our world to bring us hope and salvation – disturb our habits and expectations and deliever us into a new way.

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