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A Love that has Vanquished the Powers of Hell

Sweetness in the air, and justice on the wind,
laughter in the house where the mourners had been.

The thunder and lightning gave voice to the night;
the little lame child cried aloud in her fright.

Hush, little baby, a story I’ll tell,
of a love that has vanquished the powers of hell.
Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!
Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!

Sweetness in the air, and justice on the wind,
laughter in the house where the mourners had been.
The deaf shall have music, the blind have new eyes,
the standards of death taken down by surprise.

Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!
Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!

Release for the captives, an end to the wars,
new streams in the desert, new hope for the poor.
The little lame children will dance as they sing,
and play with the bears and the lions in spring.

Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!
Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!

Hush little baby, let go of your fear:
the Lord loves his own, and your mother is here.
The child fell asleep as the lantern did burn.
The mother sang on ’till her Bridegroom’s return.

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This has been my Advent song this year. I can’t get past it. Jesus has already won. His love has vanquished the powers of Hell. The Greatest Storm is over, and sweet justice is breezing in.

If Jesus is the Bridegroom, the Church is His Bride. We wait for His return — his second Advent. But in the meantime what do we, His Bride, do?

Fight? No, He’s done that. The Great Storm/War is over. We may have small skirmishes, of course, because Satan’s still at work. But we already know that Jesus has done the real work.

Hide? No! Why? We’re His Beloved! Why should we cower?

Separate? . . . as if we can. If a finger separates from the rest of the Body, it’s dead and useless. The Body adapts and gets along without it. Separating makes no sense.

No, we comfort. We encourage. We sing about our Beloved and His Heroism. We rock that frightened child who was tormented in the night. We remind him that someday he’ll play with lions and bears, that our ever-lovin’ Grandpa will leap and run, and that his sister will greet him with a celestial hug. We just keep the light burning until the Bridegroom returns.

Rod Rosenbladt gives those of us recovering from fundamentalism a terrific dose of just that encouragement. And in doing so, he gives us a little talking-to as well:

For most of us pastors, the link between Jesus and the church (a mother symbol) is so tight, so identical, that to be angry with mother church is the same as rejecting Jesus! It is not. But I’m recommending, at least in conversation with “the angry”—that we, all of us—identify with the anger of these people at the church, that we say, “Well, of course you are angry! With what it did to you? It would be insane not to be angry at it!”

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church” from Faith Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

Jesus is the Bridegroom, and the Church is His Bride. The Mother figure was created to keep us and nurture us and love us until Daddy returns. She messes up a lot and falls way short. She forgets the comfort she should bring to a broken and sin-sick world. As Augustine says, “she’s a whore. But she’s my mother.”

I ache for that righted world. If I close my eyes and inhale deeply, I can feel it. Will we have traffic lights in God’s new kingdom on earth? Toys? Guacamole? Fabric softener?

4 thoughts on “A Love that has Vanquished the Powers of Hell

  1. I remember this song from a Glad album way back. It may have been the one they cut with the London Symphony. The lyrics are great and your application to Advent is spot on. Keep this kind of stuff coming. We’ll help others through their recovery yet.

  2. Wow! This is beautiful!! loved the poem and the song. And anger? Yes it is good to let ourselves express it in honesty, to ourselves, to God. I remember driving to chapel one Monday evening, feeling ‘so angry’ that I though I would EXPLODE. IT had only a little while since the awful spiritual abuse at a community which so shook me, that after the ‘last attack’, someone yelling at me over the phone, I was having panic attacks for weeks! I pleaded with God,” please take this anger away, and show me what to do with this experience, the suffering. And I will use it to help people hurt like I was.”HE did. and He has. And I am helping others. But I would like to do more. Recovering from fundamentalism, would involve recovering from so much of supressed feelings and emotions. Especially anger and feeling so ‘used’. Trusting in a system simply because that’s what you were taught to do. Believe it, and swallow it, hook, line and sinker! The liturgical seasons can be so helpful and beautiful, like a gift during which God uses special seasons to HEAL US. And getting out of a restictive group, we learn to feel human again, as God renews us in true freedom, the freedom Jesus gave us when we were Born Again. The happy freedom we had as little children with that free spirit of child like faith and trust, with all the dreams of the great adventure life held for us that lay ahead on our journey.Get your life back, get your freedom back. Get your sense of humor back. Get your self-respect back. And start living again, start laughing again. Start dreaming again. Because God has not forgotten those dreams he gave us when we were little. Thanks Camille. You are living again. Barbara Quinn.

  3. Lovely, absolutely lovely. As he, the Savior, is – altogether lovely. Will read this again and again….. and wallow in the reminder of this reality. Thank you.

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