However, as we spend time with the Old Testament texts, reading of Josiah's reform when the book of Law is discovered, accompanying the people of God as Isaiah portrays them in Exile, labouring with Ezra in the rebuilding of the temple, before moving into the New Testament to hear Zechariah's song, we discover that, though we travel through Advent with a different accompaniment, still there is, in the ancient melody, a recognisable refrain that resolves in an encounter with the God who is hope and peace and love and joy.
Travelling with different texts may allow the familiar story to come alive in new ways, illuminating our world and our lives with the light that came into the world and that cannot be extinguished.
The flame flickers valiantly
glowing softly in the embers of hope
raging fiercely in the rubble of the bombed out building
bursting into life in the refusal of victims to be incited to hate.
Its tenacity is mirrored in those
who seek not revenge but healing
who long not for justice
but for compassion
and who see God
yet holding out hope
for the life of the world.