Silver & Gold

This won’t be the first time I will wax poetic about Sufjan Stevens in this space.  Just weeks after Drew’s birth we trekked over 2 hours to make it to Sufjan’s concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland.  What unfolded that night is hard to put into words, but Sufjan creates an experience in concert.  It is unlike anything else I’ve witnessed.  I found myself transported to another place—and I promise it wasn’t due to the newborn-induced sleep deprivation.  He has just released his newest Christmas album and we eagerly pre-ordered it, knowing the impact his first compilation has had on our holidays in the past.

His new set, Silver & Gold, is whimsical & yet in true Sufjan style, cuts to deep places upon each listen.  My husband, Matt, just shared a few pieces on his blog this week {click here for his post} and I wanted to share another song too.  It is called “Justice Delivers Its Death” and the main lyrics {written out below} refer back to the album’s title “Silver and Gold”.  When I first saw the title of this second box set, it makes you think of the shiny, happy, glittery Christmas we all nostalgically hold onto.  And yet, as the songs unfold, hymns of depth and lament weave between “Mr. Frosty Man” and “Lumberjack Christmas” or “The Sleigh in the Moon”.  This particular song, though, is haunting.  It is the perfect pre-Advent song, in my opinion.  The desires we pile up on our Christmas lists, the “stuff” we cling to and wish for are really, in the end, empty.

I love the lines calling for the Lord to “come with fire”.  Asking God to come with fire, to purify us, is not a simple request.  It’s a request I fight tooth and nail.  Without going into great detail, I feel God doing this refining in me right now.  Peeling away the parts of me, the “treasures” that I have been storing up” for a long time.  Asking God to come with fire and purify is a painful practice, but for me, this Advent season, I know it is leading me to a place of growth and new life.

Please take three minutes to watch and listen to this song.  I hope it will meet you in the way your heart needs to be met.  As we prepare lists, check off purchases for our loved ones, compile, create & send our Christmas cards, move from activity to activity, may these words permeate—-the emptiness of earthly treasures.

Sufjan Stevens – Silver & Gold from Asthmatic Kitty on Vimeo.

Silver & Gold
Silver & Gold
Everyone wishes for it
How do you measure its worth
just by the pleasure it gives
here on Earth

Oh, I’m getting old
Oh, I’m getting old
everyone wishes for youth
how I have wasted my life
trusting the pleasure it gives
here on Earth

Lord come with fire
Lord come with fire
everyone’s wasting their time
storing up treasure in vain
trusting the pleasure it gives
here on Earth

Oh, I see the end
Oh, I see the end
everyone is waiting for death
how do you measure its worth?
justice delivers its gift
here on Earth

Silver & Gold…

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