Advent“As the dark awaits the dawn….” were the opening words of the choir anthem at First Lutheran Church on the Third Sunday in Advent.  Through a Nordic lens, we understand what waiting for dawn–light–means. In Minnesota today, sunrise is scheduled for 7:47.  For our family in Uddevalla Sweden, the sun rose on the smooth rocks of the western archipelago at 8:58 today.  And it was 10:00 a.m. before stretches of dawn reached the stunning facade of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway.  While we wait for dawn, we light candles at breakfast, and three candles on the Advent wreath, and know that Light is coming soon.

As the Dark Awaits the Dawn is a poem of Advent, written in 1996 by Susan Palo Cherwien, and may be found in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book, hymn number 261.  The gentle melody, Lucent, is by Carl F. Schalk. Augsburg Fortress is the publisher.

1) As the dark awaits the dawn, so we await your light,

O Star of promise, scatter night, loving bright, loving bright, til shades of fear are gone.

2) As the blue expectant hour before the silvr’ing skies,

We long to see your day arise, whole and wise, whole and wise, O Lucent Morning Star.

3) As the moon reflects the sun until the night’s decrease,

may we your healing light release, living peace, living peace, unto your holy dawn.

4)  Shine your future on this place, enlighten every guest,

that through us stream your holiness, bright and blest, bright and blest; come dawn O Sun of grace.