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When Joy is Our Song

The music of Christmas has been playing since Halloween! Yet, I haven’t grown tired of it. The songs of Christmas seem to lift our spirits and bring joy to our lives. And not just Jingle Bell Rock, but songs like What Child is This or Mary Did You Know. When you really listen to the lyrics, it can put you in a state of awe and wonder, as you ponder on the miraculous virgin birth. And it brings joy to your soul.


It's one thing when a song brings us joy, but have you made joy your song? If you’ve ever had a song that you just can’t get out of your head (remember Baby Shark?), or perhaps a go-to song that feeds you when you’re going through something, then you know that songs can bring you joy. But what I’m talking about is when joy causes you to break out in song. When joy is your song. 


If you remember, we’ve been looking at the story of the Grinch this Advent. After taking all of the Who’s Christmas food, gifts, and decorations, that mean old Grinch thought that he had succeeded in spoiling Christmas. Everything that has anything to do with Christmas now sits in the Grinch’s sleigh ready to be pushed off the mountain’s edge. He waits to hear the weeping and wailing coming from Whoville, but he is shocked that the song he hears isn’t sad at all. It seems that Christmas came anyway! 

 

We can’t be sure what the Grinch heard that transformed his heart, but we know it was some kind of song. Music is such a powerful gift from God. It is fundamental to our human experience. Imagine what our worship gathering would be without any music. I remember during the COVID-19 quarantine, music was hard to come by in worship. Choirs and praise teams had to stay at home. So, I know what it’s like to have a worship service without any music. 


But when joy is your song, you learn how to make your own kind of music! (thank you Mama Cass). Nobody can take away what’s in you. Nobody can steal the joy of Christmas that resides in your heart. It is no surprise that the Advent and Christmas season is saturated with music. Sometimes music communicates what words can’t. It even has the power to grow the Grinch’s heart three whole sizes! It had the power to form Zoom choirs from all parts of the world just to keep the music going during the pandemic. The music can’t die if it’s in your heart.


Music seems to be the natural outflowing of joy. It’s like when Mary and Elizabeth meet and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy and Mary responds with what we traditionally call “The Magnificat.” Joy had become her song and she couldn’t hold it in.


46 …“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for He has looked with favor on the lowly state of his servant.  Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed,49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name;

Luke 1:46-49


When joy becomes your song, you sing not of yourself, but of the One who has shown you favor, the One who has done and continues to do great things, the One whose very name is holy. As the song says:


Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you've delivered will soon deliver you, Mary did you know?


I can’t imagine the joy that Mary must have felt. The joy of knowing that she was a part of God’s plan of salvation! Well, guess what – so are you! Each of us has a role to play in God’s kingdom. And if you make joy your song then maybe, just maybe, your heart will grow three sizes just like the Grinch. The very thing he hated became the thing that changed his life. Then you won’t need a song to bring you joy because joy has become the song of your life!


Advent Events We’ll have special music leading up to Christmas, including the children, youth, and a few special guests.


Advent Adventures will be on Sunday, December 17. We’ll have the blessing of the animals, so bring your pet out! Also, the Green Trails Elementary School Choir will bless us and there’ll be Christmas Karaoke, cocoa, and more!!!! 


WOW The churchwide Advent study comes to a close this Wednesday. Join us for a lively discussion and video at 6:30pm, with a potluck dinner at 5:45pm. We will take a break until January.


Christmas Eve we will celebrate twice! We will have our regular Sunday morning worship at 10:00am. Then we will return at 5:00pm for a time of carol singing, storytelling, and candle lighting. There will be no service on Christmas Day.


The church office will be closed on December 25-26, returning on the 27th.


End of year donations must be in the church office no later than December 31 for 2023 contribution credit. Thank you for your generosity throughout the year!


Charge Conference will be held via Zoom on Saturday, January 6, at 10:00 am. This is the meeting where local church officers are elected and various business reports are officially submitted. The Leadership Board and NLDT will be in attendance, but any member of the church can attend as well. We will let you know when we have the Zoom link.


Blessings,

Pastor Linda

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