Christmas Gifts

by Melodius Monk  

I know its not yet thanksgiving, but since this coming Sunday marks the start of Advent, our community is holding its annual service of Advent Lessons & Carols. The carol tunes are simple and beautiful, and opens inside of me a joyful sparkle of child-like enthusiasm..

In preparing the music this year, it has been the poetic texts that I am finding the most meaningful. In one hymn in particular, an English hymn titled, “Tomorrow shall be my dancing day”, recounts the events of Jesus’ life in the first person. After each event, Jesus exclaims “this have I done for my true love”.

I don’t often think of our salvation from Jesus’ point of view. He was excited, and longing for his “chance” to come save us from ourselves and to bring us to his dance! It is so easy for me to forget how loving God is. It’s a reminder that Jesus is daily looking for opportunities to call us to come dance with him – an invitation I don’t want to miss!

Here’s a few more of the verses!

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
To call my true love to my dance.

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.

Into the desert I was led,
Where I fasted without substance;
The Devil bade me make stones my bread,
To have me break my true love’s dance.

Then on the cross hanged I was,
Where a spear my heart did glance;
There issued forth both water and blood,
To call my true love to my dance.

Then down to hell I took my way
For my true love’s deliverance,
And rose again on the third day,
Up to my true love and the dance.

Then up to heaven I did ascend,
Where now I dwell in sure substance
On the right hand of God, that man
May come unto the general dance


This entry was posted in Advent, Church of the Transfiguration, Feast Days and Celebrations, Gloriae Dei Cantores, God's Call, Jesus, Love, Monastery, Poem, Preparing, Thanksgivings by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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