This text is rather confrontational between John the Baptizer and those whom he called a brood of vipers. Yet, within his venom are words that call for people to prepare for one who comes. “Prepare the way of The Lord; make his paths straight.” Following is a hymn composed for Advent, following the pattern of the Advent wreath’s succession of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. If you like to sing, look up the Repton hymn tune on Youtube. This second Sunday of Advent finds many in the throes and anxieties of preparing for the secular celebrations of Christmas. Instead, let the hymn help prepare us for Christ’s birth.
O Come, Thou Blessed Hope
O come, thou blessed Hope of God,
The Hope of being whole.
In fear or exile, grief or pain
We call to you again and again
To free the troubled, captive soul,
To free the restless soul.
O come, thou blessed Love of God,
The Love from Mary born:
Thou child who drew a mother’s face
And grew in wisdom, full of grace
To love us with each passing morn,
To love us each new morn.
O come, thou blessed Joy of God,
The Joy of dawning rays.
Come Jesus, now, the word made flesh;
Be born within our hearts, our créche.
Receive our joyful gifts of praise,
Receive our joyful praise.
O come thou blessed Peace of God,
The Peace of Christ be giv’n:
That calls the world to end all strife
With promise of abundant life
On earth as now it is in heav’n,
On earth as known in heav’n.
O come, thou Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace,
O come from heav’n above.
Emmanuel, now come and bless
The earth with your divine caress
And fill us with your heav’nly love.
Fill us with heav’nly love.
Jack Lipphardt, 2013
Tune setting: Repton
Rev. Jack Lipphardt