Comfort, Come Again

Sadao Watanabe's "Flight into Egypt"

Sadao Watanabe’s “Flight into Egypt”

Amid all the “sleeping baby Jesus” songs of the season, we often forget that Jesus had a bumpy start to his life on earth: born away from home, his family was soon on the run again, this time to a foreign country. The only thing he left behind at his birth place was dozens of families whose boys had been killed by Herod, who had hoped to kill Jesus. You can read the whole story in Matthew 2. I assume that most of this was edited out of your Christmas Eve service!

Though the “slaughter of the innocents” and the “flight into Egypt” rarely make it into our Christmas imagination, I’ve been thinking that they may serve an important role for our congregations. Let’s face it: lots of us approach Christmas with dread and depression. We’re far from home, missing loved ones, mourning babies that were never born, or are just so sickened by the reality of the world around us that we have a hard time putting our hearts into a Norman Rockwell Christmas.

With this in mind, I penned “Comfort, Come Again.” (MP3, PDF) It’s a prayer that draws on the themes of Matthew 2 and recasts them in a way that they could be prayed and sung for either the characters of the biblical narrative or those of us today who are going through similar griefs and trials.

For all the weeping mothers, fathers;
For every empty chair.
For innocents, like lambs to the slaughter;
For life as thin as air.

Comfort, come again.

For all the starstruck seekers, wanderers,
Wondering why they left.
For all uprooted, fleeing families
Fearful of what’s ahead.

Comfort, come again.

For all the wayward sons and daughters;
For every restless soul;
For all the seekers, mourners, doubters,
Darkness will turn to dawn.

Comfort, come again.

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