God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.
The Rev. Julian Rush, In the Midst of New Dimensions
The brilliant colors of Autumn are just a memory as the grayness of winter begins to set in. Rain pelts our windows.
And while the chilly winds whip … a fleeting sunray strikes the droplets, its light refracted, and we are graced with an ephemeral rainbow or an evanescent ice halo round the sun, hours before the shadows of a long night.
Gratefully, this December is already being illuminated by Advent and Hanukkah candles.
For some, hope, peace, love, joy, anticipation, miracles, celebration and community lead into each sunset.
For others, grief, need, suffering or despair darken into each night.
For many, the hopscotch of emotions and expectations triggered by memories or seasonal songs and hymns pepper every hour.
As I thought about World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 3), International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), Las Posadas (Dec. 16-24), Christmas (Dec. 25), and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1), the words of the hymn In the Midst of New Dimensions came to mind.
It was composed in 1985 on the theme of diversity for a meeting of the United Methodist Church Rocky Mountain Conference by The Rev. Julian Rush, former director of the Colorado AIDS project. His own personal journey inspired the affirmation that all persons are children of God and are welcome in the church.
While recognizing the brokenness of the world, the hymn also asks who will seek peace and assure unity and community?
In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways. Who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering in their separate ways? Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair, who will lift the olive branches? Who will light the flame of care? As we stand a world divided by our own self-seeking schemes, Grant that we, your global village might envision wider dreams. We are man and we are woman, all persuasions, old and young, each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung. God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.
In the midst of this year’s Advent journey may we embody and express the profound hope, love, and promise of the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace, now and evermore.