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Ring The Bells That Still Can Ring

Liturgical Christians, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians keep a season called Advent, four weeks before Christmas.  It is a difficult practice, because it calls us to be thoughtful.  Thoughtful?!  You mean making a list and checking it twice?  No.  Advent is a time to acknowledge the truth that we hide from, behind our shopping lists and party schedules, the truth of emptiness and brokenness, in ourselves and in the world.  We are surrounded by Ho Ho Ho.  Advent says Hmm.

Advent says, Yes we will rejoice, because the baby, The Baby is born.  And yet.  And yet...

This has been a hard week.  Our defenses against the darkness have been found wanting.  And yet.  And yet...




Anthem
by Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang 
at the break of day 
Start again 
I heard them say 
Don't dwell on what 
has passed away 
or what is yet to be. 
Ah the wars they will 
be fought again 
The holy dove 
She will be caught again 
bought and sold 
and bought again 
the dove is never free. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

We asked for signs 
the signs were sent: 
the birth betrayed 
the marriage spent 
Yeah the widowhood 
of every government -- 
signs for all to see. 

I can't run no more 
with that lawless crowd 
while the killers in high places 
say their prayers out loud. 
But they've summoned, they've summoned up 
a thundercloud 
and they're going to hear from me. 

Ring the bells that still can ring ... 

You can add up the parts 
but you won't have the sum 
You can strike up the march, 
on your little broken drum 
Every heart, every heart 
to love will come 
but like a refugee. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in.

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