See, the desert shall rejoice, blossoming and blooming,
Brimming with new life against all the darkness looming.
From the wilderness so bleak shall come waters flowing
And the highway of our God, peace and welcome showing.
See how Mary does rejoice, trusting and foretelling
How our Savior will bring forth peace and justice swelling;
Filling up the hungry throng; lifting up the lowly.
This the Savior who she sings; mighty, good, and holy.
See the work Messiah does: seeing, walking, healing,
Hearing, living, good news come, holiness revealing.
Blessed is the one who sees goodness in the Savior
Without taking wrong offense, with no rude behavior.
See how patience is our call, like the farmer planting
Crops that bloom forth from the earth, God all favor granting.
Strengthen now your weary heart; death is not our story,
But rejoicing will return in our Savior’s glory.
TEXT: Charles Spence Freeman, 2019, after Advent 3A scriptures.
MUSIC: Tune TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM, Piae Cantiones, 1582
(“Good King Wenceslas,” “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child”)
Advent 3A contains perhaps the most fertile combination of scriptures of any Sunday of the whole three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary. Acknowledging all of them is a challenge, but all of them have something to teach us. The tune is in Glory to God with the text “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child” but is most famously associated with the popular carol “Good King Wenceslas.”