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The Dawn Chorus: An Advent Series on the Wonders of Birds
December 18, 2022 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
The Dawn Chorus Advent series celebrates birds as symbols of waking up fearlessly when the world is in the darkness. The Dawn Chorus is a perfect and beautiful and fascinating analogy for Advent. Read more about the series below.
Each week will be led by a different facilitator and guide. Sessions will include prayer, reflection, and conversation.
The Dawn Chorus
Each year in the Northern Hemisphere, as the days get shorter and the nights get longer and colder, the season of Advent arrives. In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we pray and light candles and tell the truth about a world full of shadows. We confront the realities of conflict and injustice – and we take responsibility. And then we raise up our voices and sing straight into those shadows, calling on Jesus to come again with light and peace and healing in his wings.
Songbirds all over the world know a thing or two about singing into the dark. In the wee hours of the morning, before the sun appears over the horizon, they begin a great symphony that scientists call the “dawn chorus.” Birds can sing at any time of day, of course, but in that deep blue space between darkness and light, their songs are louder, livelier, and passionately clear. Dawn choruses usually begin quietly, with only a few singers (listen for robins and thrushes) – and soon, thanks be to God, these early birds are joined by others, and then still others, until the morning fills up with sound and glory.
Advent is the church’s dawn chorus. It starts in the silence, in the shadows, and looks to the light. Each week, we gather together to listen and sing (sometimes quietly at first) straight into the deepening darkness, proclaiming that in the end, the night will give way to the day; winter will give way to spring; despair to hope, war to peace, grief to joy, violence to love – and God will come again, like the morning star in the east, or a mother hen gathering in her brood.