The tumult of the past 2 years has probably landed many of us in a similar space. Just when things seem to be getting better, they take a sharp turn in the opposite direction. We’ve suffered a loss of normalcy and many of us have struggled in ways we haven’t wanted to say out loud. If you’re anything like me, some days you think you’re handling everything just fine, but the next day you sink into complete overwhelm. It’s exhausting, and to cope, many of us have steeled ourselves against the next possible disaster. We say that things will get better, but to really, truly hope for it, to believe good things are coming soon, feels absurd.
But the truth of it is that just as Jesus came into the lives of a weary people 2000 years ago, he can come into our lives this very day, breaking down the walls we’ve built to protect ourselves and renewing our hearts with hope. This season is a wonderful opportunity to invite Christ into our difficulty, struggle, and desperation. Beating ourselves into optimism is tiring and often futile, but Christ is waiting to pour out his grace and to do the work of renewal in us.
Our job is to make the space for that to happen. How can we clear a path for the Lord to come into our hearts, to transform us? Setting aside time to pray, time for silence, and time to think are important steps. Of course, being your parish music minister, I’m here to suggest that praying with music is a great place to start. The fact that I began this article with a lyric shows the unique way music sticks with us. Through music, God can speak to us in a way that connects more deeply with our emotions, thoughts, and memory. Even just listening to sacred Advent and Christmas music at home is a great way to pray and reflect.
That being said, I’d like to invite you to a special event we’re offering for the third time since I began working here, a concert of Lessons & Carols on Thursday, December 9 at 7 PM. On that evening, we’ll have a series of scripture readings that take us through important moments in salvation history leading up to the birth of Christ. Between each reading, the MHT music ministry, including the adult choir, children’s choir, and other singers and musicians, will sing pieces to help us reflect on the scriptures. It’ll likely be around a 45 minute service, so this is a great opportunity to set aside a short time to be with Christ and let him speak to you through the words and music you hear.
I hope you have a blessed Advent and Christmas season, and I hope to see many of you this Thursday.
God Bless, Kayla