This Advent season I am going to reflect on a hymn or carol daily as part of my spiritual practices. I am not sure where all these reflections will take me, but in conversation with my spiritual director, I am going to leave room for both “the head stuff” and “the heart stuff.” Some days might be more of one or another. I invite you to join me, as together we make space to listen, and be present, to sense what God might be up to.
This morning I enjoyed watching and hanging out with some Sunday Schoolers as they rehearsed for their Christmas program which will be shared as the message in worship tomorrow. They did great! They had energy, and they were excited. (They are actually doing a program that was written by my mom years ago, which is extra fun for me.) The program’s story is based off of alternative lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and tells the Christmas story through the opening and discovery of at least twelve different gifts. It also includes the songs, “The B-I-B-L-E,” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”
Tomorrow in worship we’ll also be singing the fun, repetitive, and rhythmic Advent hymn, “He Came Down.” It comes from Cameroon, and is easy enough to learn, but it’s just so joyful because it highlights the excitement and joy of the gifts of the Advent and Christmas season.
He came down that we may have love; he came down that we may have love;
he came down that we may have love; hallelujah forevermore.
He came down that we may have light; he came down that we may have light;
he came down that we may have light; hallelujah forevermore.
He came down that we may have peace; he came down that we may have peace;
he came down that we may have peace; hallelujah forevermore.
He came down that we may have joy; he came down that we may have joy;
he came down that we may have joy; hallelujah forevermore.
Love, light, peace, and joy. These are four gifts that come to mind to me today after having watched the Sunday Schoolers, and having felt their energy. The teachers, parents, and helpers have done a wonderful job of preparing this young group of disciples and it gave me great joy to watch and learn anew from them about the love, light, and peace that the Christ child brings.
This weekend as you gather for worship; run errands; gather with friends, family, and loved ones; watch some early college football bowl games; watch Star Wars or try to avoid spoilers about it… I hope that you take some time to enjoy the peace of Christ, but also that you take joy in it, just as I saw the Sunday Schoolers do today in their rehearsal, and I’m sure I’ll sense it in worship tomorrow too.
Credit/Reference: Cameroon traditional, arr. John L. Bell, 1986, found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), 253.