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Let Heaven and Nature Sing

It happens every day.

Hours before sunrise, while most of us sleep, the birds begin to build their song. Scientists call it the dawn chorus. Voice by voice, out of the quiet and the cold, the songbirds make music for the new day’s arrival.

Another word for arrival is Advent.

It happens every year.

In the fours weeks leading up to Christmas, we prepare to welcome the new day’s arrival, the birth of Jesus. Like the chorus of birds that greets the dawn, we wait in the shadows, awake and alert to our planet’s and our community’s needs for hope, peace, joy, and love. Though the days grow darker and colder, we look for warm light. We light candles. We listen for the gathering song.

This Advent, join the community of St. Barnabas as we show up, eager to be present for the dawn chorus. Each Sunday, we'll sing about the coming of Jesus, the refugee child who turns empires and systems of power upside down, lifting the humble and announcing the kin-dom — the radical family — of God. This story and its message resonate in our chests, our voices, and our feet, like songs.

We only have theories about why birds love to sing hours before sunrise, and we can’t articulate all the reasons why singing together incites such joy. The Ohio poet Ross Gay writes, “Joy is the light that comes from us as we carry each other through our sorrows.” During this season’s special events, we’ll reach out with our unique voices, connect our stories, and watch joy emerge between us like light at dawn.

Between Sunday morning services, Jane will help us explore and discover the song that heaven and nature sings. She’ll shed light on the stories behind carols and Christmas anthems, including Mary’s own Magnificat, which leaders banned from public recitation when Christians like Oscar Romero tapped into its message. We’ll hear the invitation to carry this revolutionary song into the coming year.

Do join us as we experience this Advent’s arrival together, and also snag your free copy of The Dawn Chorus, a beautiful set of readings and activities you can use to celebrate at home. Pick up one at church or click below and we'll send you a copy:

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