A blog by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration about justice and peace issues

Dear All – I want to share with you the re-working of “O come, O come, Emmanuel” by Tori Amos. She does an excellent  job capturing the essence of the song with some fresh words. I was particularly struck this year with the first verse. The image of a people and place waiting in exile, longing to be ransomed and freed. I thought of the Afghans, Iraqis, Hondurans, Palestinians, Immigrants, Homeless, Earth and so many more. People and Earth, honest, loving and waiting for a day of justice, for a time of relief and healing.

Our Christmas story gives us a wonderful example of the power of hope. A poor young couple with no power beyond their faith journey to have a baby that from the moment of conception broke the social and religious boundaries of the day. A baby that many would have thought doomed as he came into the world not the child of the mother’s husband. And yet this infant would grow up and create a beautiful new paradigm that more than 2,000 years later still has the ability to turn what we know upside down.

This hope is not just a feeling. It is a love that grounds itself in action, that called on the whole community that knew Jesus to risk, dream, and be different…dangerously so.  And so must we, for this is our spiritual inheritance, our call to action in a world that needs healing and paradigm shift as desperately as the ancient one that Jesus was born into.

And so let us gather and dream as Mary and Joseph did. Let us gather and do as the many that journeyed with Jesus. And let us risk , grounded in the faith, that what appears as endless night has waiting in its depth a mesmerizing dawn.

Merry Christmas….In Peace Liz

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Long ago the earth lay sleeping
Waiting for the darkest night
To bring with it the dove of peace
Rising on the wings
Wings of the sun
Rising on the wings of the sun

O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright!
Pour on our souls thy healing light
Dispel the long night’s lingering gloom
And pierce the shadows of the tomb
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

-Tori Amos


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