Your Little Ones Dear Lord- an Advent devotional for Dec. 17, 2017

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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. 

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. It was also the Sunday School program at Salem Lutheran this morning. Fittingly, the song we say during offering today was the great Christmas hymn, “Your Little Ones, Dear Lord.”

Your little ones, dear Lord, are we, and come your lowly bed to see;
enlighten every soul and mind, that we the way to you may find.

With songs we hasten you to greet, and kiss the ground before your feet. 
Oh, blessed hour, oh, sweetest night that gave you birth, our soul’s delight. 

Oh, draw us wholly to you, Lord, and to us all your grace accord;
true faith and love to us impart, that we may hold you in our heart.

Until at last we too proclaim, with all your saints, your glorious name;
in paradise our songs renew, and praise you as the angels do. 

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The sanctuary, all ready early in the morning, before the Sunday School program.

I could write a lot and share some theological reflections on this, but don’t think I need to. Today, I heard the Word of God proclaimed by the youth of the congregation. After communion and the end of worship, we all gathered for fellowship and an incredibly large potluck lunch. We gathered together today, but we also connected with the saints present and those who have gone before us.

As we enter this last week of Advent, and this week before Christmas, may we be present and have our senses opened to notice God with us, Emmanuel. May we notice and be ready to witness what God might be up to. May we share our joy, wonder, story and questions. And may we embody the hope and joy like children, just as I witnessed in worship today.

_________________________

Credit/Reference: Hans A. Brorson, Johann A. P. Schulz, “Your Little Ones, Dear Lord,” tr. Harriet Krauth Spaeth, found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), 286.

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