Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Dream Isaiah Saw

I heard this song live yesterday: The Dream Isaiah Saw by Glenn Rudolph, text by Thomas Troeger. I can't find a great version online, but this one is decent.

In the 6 or so minutes the song lasted, it brought me out of Advent longing and straight into Christmas. The low, steady, military beat of the snare drums marched through the song gaining speed as the chorus, singing of Isaiah's dream of peace, gained momentum too. There was such motion and then in the end, a glorious breakthrough of pure singing. Peace descends.

As I sit here writing my sermon for tomorrow, I'm nearly undone by this song and the way it captures the miracle. In the midst of the powerful forces of this world: armies and marching orders and all the violence that's woven into our lives, God came to us as a baby to bring us peace.
Lions and oxen will sleep in the hay,
Leopards will join with the lambs as they play,
Wolves will be pastured with cows in the glade,
Blood will darken the Earth that God made.

Little child whose bed is straw,
Take new lodgings in my heart.
Bring the dream Isaiah saw:
Life redeemed from fang and claw.

Peace will pervade more than forest and field:
God will transfigure the Violence concealed
Deep in the heart of systems gain,
Ripe for the judgment the Lord will ordain.

Little Child whose bed is straw,
Take new lodgings in my heart.
Bring the dream Isaiah saw:
Justice purifying law.

Nature reordered to match God’s intent,
Nations obeying the call to repent,
All of creation completely restored,
Filled with the knowledge and love of the Lord.

Little child whose bed is straw,
Take new lodgings in my heart.
Bring the dream Isaiah saw:
Knowledge, wisdom, worship awe.

—Thomas Troeger

8 comments:

  1. This one is GREAT!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj90IkYeZaE

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  2. A friend told me about this piece today and I found your blog while searching for it. It is a stunning piece. Peace to you!

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  3. The Washington Chorus has issued a CD, "Christmas with the Washington Chorus" that includes The Dream Isaiah Saw with players from the NSO. It is available on iTunes and Amazon either as an album or an individual download.

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  4. Holy Trinity Lutheran, St. James Epsicopal, and St. David's Espicopal did a joint service remembering 9/11 yesterday (9/11/2011) at St. James in Leesburg VA and the combined chorus sang this song with brass and drum accompaniment. It was very well received and an honor to sing it.

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  5. Anonymous 1 - it's the same performance that the Barefoot Pastor linked to! And it is great!

    Barefoot Pastor - You've got a typo in the last line of the first paragraph - you're missing "not": "Blood will NOT darken..."
    Thanks for your lovely blog post!

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  6. I heard the song again tonight performed by The Washington Chorus @the The Kennedy Center. Yes. It did to me all that Barefoot describes. Incredible.

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  7. I've been singing in choirs since I was 13 years old. Now 39, I have to say this song was the most powerful song I ever sang. Also as part of a 9/11 tribute, I sang this song with LVC Choir and various churches in the area. It was moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

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  8. Just heard this song for the first time this morning at our worship service. It is so powerful - especially with the percussion!

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