Wednesday 16 December

Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

Isaiah 45.6-8, 18, 21-26 | Psalm 85.8-13 | Luke 7.19-23 Shepherds

Pietro Perugino. Altarpiece of St Augustine: Adoration of the Shepherds (1510, detail). Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia.

In the Days of Caesar
Rowan Williams, from the Welsh of Waldo Williams (1904-71)

In the days of Caesar, when his subjects went to be reckoned,
there was a poem made, too dark for him (naive with power) to read.
It was a bunch of shepherds who discovered
in Bethlehem of Judah, the great music beyond reason and reckoning:
shepherds, the sort of folk who leave the ninety-nine behind
so as to bring the stray back home, they heard it clear,
the subtle assonances of the day, dawning toward cock-crow
the birthday of the Lamb of God, shepherd of mortals.

Well, little people, and my little nation, can you see
the secret buried in you, that no Caesar ever captures in his lists?
Will not the shepherd come to fetch us in our desert,
gathering us in to give us birth again, weaving us into one
in a song heard in the sky over Bethlehem?
He seeks us out as wordhoard for his workmanship, the laureate of heaven.
The Poems of Rowan Williams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans , 2002, p. 103.

Otto Olsson (Sweden, 1879-1964). Advent, from Advents och julsånger (1917). Engelbrekts Kammarkör, dir Bengt Eklund, 2011.

Sions dotter, lyft din panna!
Himmelriket är dig när.
Jubla högt ditt Hosianna!
Se, din konung nu är här!
Gud sin Son till jorden sänt.
Fröjda dig. det är advent!
Kom med famnen full av palmer,
låt ditt hjärta vidga sig,
kom med sånger, kom med psalmer!
Ärans Konung möter dig.

Salighetens dag han tänt,
salighetens dag han tänt.
Fröjda dig, det är advent!
Sions jubel ej kan stanna.
Liksom stora vattens dån
ljuder evigt: Hosianna.
Hosianna Davids Son!
Sådan fröjd ej världen känt.
Fröjda dig, det är advent!

Zion's daughter, lift your eyes,
as Heaven's kingdom now is near
Shout Hosannah in the highest
Lo, your king is coming here.
God, His son to earth has sent
Sing for joy, this is Advent.
Spread His path with palms and flowers
Open wide your heart to Him.
Trust in Him whose love empowers
light and life in very limb.

Blessed day of His descent
Sing for joy, this is Advent.
Never cease this jubilation,
like the roaring of the sea
we will shout with every nation
praising Him eternally.
King of Glory, heaven sent
Sing for joy, this is Advent
Advent! [Apologies for the poor translation!]

St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602