As we begin to anticipate the stable this Advent, we will gather and listen in ways that help us anticipate. The gift of music during this time of year is paramount, as it engages our minds, hearts, and souls, opening us up to anticipate the hope, peace, joy, and love of God. We will join our voices together as well as listen reverently to our choirs sing, which will help us hear the presence of God around us.
On Sunday evening, December 6, the children’s choirs and the youth choir will offer their music they have been preparing. During this service, we will give thanks for their voices amongst us, as they start to tune our hearts to hear God’s grace. We will light the Christmon trees for the first time in the sanctuary after we adorn them with the symbols of our faith. It is a time to start listening, as we start to hear Advent happening around us.
The following Sunday on December 13 we will gather in the sanctuary for worship, as the Santuary Choir and hand bells lead us in “Rejoicing at the Manger.” Through their voices, we will hear the joy of Mary and the awe of Joseph and the good news of Christ. We will stand beside the manger in order to remember what the hope, peace, joy, and love of God sound like, so we can better anticipate it during Advent. It will lift our souls and center our lives.
Finally on December 24, we will come together for our Carols, Communion, and Candlelight service, where music and communion will guide us into Christmas. After weeks of anticipating the stable, we will stand in it and give thanks for Emmanuel, or God with us. We will sing and then gather around the Table to celebrate communion. Then we will take the light of Christ at the center of the Advent wreath, and we will pass its light one to another, sharing the good news of Christmas with each other as well as taking it out into the world.
Once we hear the good news of Christmas, will take it to all of the dark places around us, offering to others some of the hope, peace, joy, and love that we have discovered by standing in the stable. Our music and worship will guide us through the journey of Advent and Christmas, and it will send us out into this world, renewed and strengthened, called and led, by what we sing and hear along the way. Advent is here, and Christmas is coming. Let us sing together.