Cantata – The Awakened Nativity of the Messiah

THE AWAKENED NATIVITY OF THE MESSIAH
Cantata Text
Sunday, December 22, 2019
First United Methodist Church-Omaha

PART I. PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

(Tenor Recitative)
And so it came to pass that in those days, all the world came to be taxed:
Taxed by the madness of the powerful, taxed by the terrors of the violent;
When the ascendancy of hatred ripped the beloved nation asunder, and love was all but forgotten;
And so it was that, while they were there, as Mary and Joseph also were there,
Thus the days were accomplished that she, that we, that all should be delivered.

(Chorus)
A voice that crieth in the wilderness: No more shall privilege feast upon the poor.
Resist the rule of those that seize and scar. Proclaim a lowly child who wields nothing but love…proclaim the child as “Lord.”
Revealed will be a highway, “higher ground:” a way out of the desert of despair. Prepare – Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
No more applaud the way of cruelty. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
No more follow the way of hopelessness. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
No more accept injustice as the way, nor call a trail of blood “the only way.” Prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Dismiss the warfare of iniquity. Regrets forgotten, cast aside the past.
To praise the meek, to laud a child as Lord will guide the wandering heart out of the wilderness – into his way of love.
Revealed in truth, behold, the path of peace! The way into a new and glorious day awaits. Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

PART II. AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD

(Tenor Recitative)
And she brought forth her firstborn son. And a decree went out to those who had kept watch in the wilderness by night:
Unto you is born this day a revelation of the glory of God, which shall be to all people, which is Christ the Lord.

(Chorus)
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed through the radiance of his love,
A love embodied to be shared, the very heart of the divine.
And all flesh shall see it together, and all humanity shall see it together.
For in the love of the Lord they will know they are as one together.
Every color, every gender, all expressions shall see it together.
All neurologies, all abilities, all morphologies shall see it together.
For the flesh of the mouth of the Lord is the flesh we know as our own,
And the flesh of the mouth of the Lord has spoken it,
That all flesh be beloved as his own, as one kindred together,
For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

PART III. COMFORT YE

(Chorus)
Comfort ye.

(Mezzo)
The divine, the source of love and life, eternal being
Harmonizing the energies of the stars as they soar,
Balancing elements on a tiny blue sphere, hoping that sentience could appear:
It is this God, upending heaven and earth to be with you, to be Emmanuel,
For the chance to know you, with a chance to be hurt,
When you grieve, suffering; when you hope, hearkening,
For to show that you are known. You are not alone.
For God loves you, loves every part of you:
Your fragile heart, your restless mind, your beautifully imperfect body –
Loves every part of you.
God loves you desperately, helplessly.
You are loved forever like a star shining through eternity.

PART IV. FOR UNTO US

(Tenor Recitative)
And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find him, not as a ruler, not as a magnate or a celebrity, but as a fragile baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and being watched over by the homeless and the migrant workers. But fear not! Go with haste, and ye shall find him! And they said to one another: Let us go and see this thing which is come to pass!

(Chorus)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
Unto those whose lives were barren, unto them a son is given.
For, to those suffering usurpers; for, to those tangled with a tyrant,
To above all the least of these, those in affliction, unto them a son is given.
And the government shall be upon his shoulders,
The new government where the power-hungry cower, for his name shall be called:
Vulnerable, boundless heart, the power of love, a power no threat can vanquish, the path to peace.
For unto us a child is born.
Now we sing, with voices bold, our faith renewed, our joy restored!
And the beaten-down and lowly shall be lifted high upon his shoulders,
Lifted up and carried into gladness and joyous abundance!
And the government shall be upon his shoulders,
The new government where the power-hungry cower, for his name shall be called:
Vulnerable, boundless heart, the power of love, a power no threat can vanquish, the path to peace.

PART V. GLORY TO GOD

(Tenor Recitative)
And lo! To those who had been sore afraid, tidings of great joy came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and to the lonely and abandoned, a multitude was suddenly with them, praising God and saying:

(Chorus)
Glory to God, beheld among us, revealed in love, the boundless heart of God!
Glory to God, glory in the highest, the highest glory to the Lord of love!
Glory to God, the God among us as the pathway of peace with justice. Glory in the highest!
Glory to God, bestowed as a child. Let hearts rejoice: the Lord of love is born!
And peace on earth forever, for all – a lasting peace for all the earth.
Goodwill among all faiths and persuasions, among humankind all over the world.
Goodwill among the peoples, for healing the earth.
Glory to God, beheld among us, revealed in love, the boundless heart of God!
Glory to God, glory in the highest, the highest glory to the Lord of love!
Glory to God, the God among us as the pathway of peace with justice. Glory in the highest!
Glory to God, bestowed as a child. Let hearts rejoice: the Lord of love is born!