12.11 Advent Devotional
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn king.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful all ye nations, rise;
join the triumph of the skies;
with the angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn king!”
Scripture - Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
Scripture - Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Devotion - Joyful Noise
There is a picture of one- or two-year-old me holding a wooden spoon, sitting on my kitchen floor with a collection of pots and pans around me. The expression on my face is one of pure glee (the expression on my mother’s face somewhat less so).
And I am still at my happiest when I am making a joyful noise, with my guitar, with friends, and with the choir, sharing our love of music, each other, and our God, expressed in song.
Music is a wonderfully mysterious gift. It touches us in our most unreachable and vulnerable places and provides peace, healing and resilience. It does usher us into His presence. I can only be thankful for music.
In this time of uncertainty, doubt, and isolation, I still look for ways to make a joyful noise. I can play my guitar, sing along with the Lazurus CD, even karaoke in my living room.
But also, in this time of trying to ease the ache for social justice, providing for the least of these, mending broken relationships, I was caught up short by the words of John Lewis, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." I was familiar with his notion of “good trouble”. But the first part of the sentence brought me up short.
In my mind, I would like to amend that phrase to “… make some joyful noise…” because this good trouble I am being called to should be joyful, even when it is hard, because it will help usher all of us into God’s presence.
Let us be thinking of how we can be making joyful noise in this Advent season.
Angels We Have Heard on High, performed by Carol Hayden, arranged by Carol Hayden