First Sunday of Advent (Year C) – December 2, 2018
Audio is here.
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The popular song jazz standard “Love is Here to Stay” has been performed by the greats: Kenny Baker, Gene Kelly, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, “Nat King Cole” and Frank Sinatra, so name a few. It has been used on the stage and on the screen, big and small. It was the last musical composition that George Gershwin completed before his death at age 38 in the summer of 1937. Ira Gershwin composed the lyrics after George’s death as a loving tribute to his late brother.
It is a beautiful song, one whose longevity is fitting, since it is a song about permanence, specifically the permanence of love:
It’s very clear / Our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but ever and a day
The radio / And the telephone
And the movies that we know / May just be passing fancies
And in time may go / But oh my dear / Our love is here to stay
Together we’re going a long long way / In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble / They’re only made of clay
But our love is here to stay
With Europe on the brink of war and an impending feeling that everything could be falling apart, George and Ira Gershwin give us this lovely piece of American art about that which has the power, in the words of Saint Paul, to bear, believe, hope, and endure all things.