Sunday, December 20, 2009

Advent Meditation for December 21, 2009

Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Scripture: Luke 2:11; Psalm 100

This hymn is a Medieval Latin carol sung to a 14th century Germany melody. The words encourage us all to rejoice with our whole being and the melody sets the mood for rejoicing.

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today;

It is not at all based on Psalm 100, but its words are suggestive of the mood set by the psalmist when he wrote: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. What could stir greater joy within our hearts than the celebration of the coming of the Lord Jesus? As a baby? As a Saviour into the world? Into our hearts?

Words to ponder: Meditate on the words of the psalm, thinking particularly of God’s goodness to you and the ways God’s faithfulness has been manifest in your life.

It has been a busy and tiring week for us both. Tom continues to go for physical therapy three times a week and for speech therapy twice a week. He believes the therapy is helping, but I wonder if it is one source of his fatigue. Now he shows signs of having caught whatever had me under the weather. I surely hope it leaves him more quickly than it left me. I still battle the congestion and am taking medicine for cough. Tonight I'm going to bed without it--I'm tired of being sleepy all day long.

Tomorrow is Meredith's fourth birthday and she is READY to celebrate. Her's is the last birthday of the year and it's hard to wait your turn when you're her age. It is so much fun to watch her play with younger sister, Elisa. Mer usually rules the roost, but more and more, Elisa is asserting herself and letting it be known that she may be the youngest, but she won't always be last in line.

We have just said goodbye to a group of carolers from our church. When we opened the front door to say hello, there stood Jake, Sarah and Drew on the front row. (We had already heard Drew through the closed door, being sure that everybody knew that this was his grandmother's house.) It was a fine group of mostly youth and children and it brought back lots of memories of the days when Tom and I stood on peoples' porches to sing rather than being on the inside to listen. I never knew how special it was for carolers to come bring the message of the birth of Christ in song. It's not so bad to have the shoe on the other foot.

If you have been following along with the Advent meditations, I trust that they have inspired you to think about the Scriptures on which they are based and that you have paid more attention to the words of Christmas hymns while you are singing. Some pack a lot of theology in few words. I have been prompted to meditate on the contrast between the baby in a manger, lying on straw, surrounded by animals and the fact that this one of such lowly birth is in fact the Lord of all the earth. Christ, in all His glory, lived a life of humility. Why cannot I do the same?

May your Christmas celebration be one of joy!

Pastor Margaret

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