Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 3)

A Light for all the World

i. (Bass)

As my world grows darker
God's promise never dims;
His faithfulness grows stronger
With the stiffening of my limbs:
Each day my hope is brighter
As my eyes begin to fail
That what the prophets said was true
And YHWH will prevail.

Soft and bright as heaven
Light floods into my skull,
So that all earth's beauty
Seems tedious and dull:
I can feel the Holy Spirit
Take possession of my soul
And know today will be the day
Creation is made whole.

ii. (Children's choir)

Yearlings pure and white,
Fat lambs unblemished;
Pigeons safe from flight,
Stocks nearly finished!

A young mother stands
Awkward in the open air,
Husband looking harassed,
Thinning cloak and thinning hair.

Bent priest hobbling,
Lifts the baby from her arm:
The man comes with his pigeons,
The priest looks moved but calm.

Chorus (fading)

iii. (Bass)

Lord, let thy servant now depart in peace
According to thy word, such sweet release:
My eyes have seen salvation in your face,
From Israel for all the human race.
A light for all the world, that all may be
In covenant with you eternally.

(Choir repeat).

iv. (Alto)

O Israel that has suffered long
Beneath the shade of Eden's sin,
The outward promise seems forlorn
But our bright future lies within:
A heavenly, not an earthly, Lord
Has come in light, the truth, the Word.

Now open every humble heart
And count privation as a joy
Forget the Roman yoke and tax
And keep your eyes upon this boy:
He in his Father's temple will,
In being the Temple, all fulfil.

v. (Bass)

Mother radiant, mother gentle,
News is rarely bad or good,
Joy like yours is quintessential
In your blessed motherhood.

Joy of God's Messiah anointed
Borne by you with willing grace,
Pierced, smitten, disappointed,
Bearing sorrow and disgrace.

Yet the triumph of his Godhead
Word that breaks the power of words,
Through the Spirit burning in me
Will proclaim him Lord of Lords.

vi. (Choir)

Go down! Go down to Nazareth
And love this child's mystery,
Business of angels, king of kings,
Zenith of hope and prophesy.

Go down to Nazareth and teach
Your son to worship, watch and pray,
Ready to supersede the Law
With love's defining ministry.