Come, join the chorus!

O, Most High God, we have waited ages for this night! How blessed we are to be part of the blessing. I can’t wait to see the shepherds’ faces!
Dear Father, we’re spruced up and tuned up to do our best for you. We’ve chosen only the best songs of praise to announce the arrival of your Son to His new home. Everybody is in fine, strong voice, ready to join together to glorify your name. Be with us, El Elyon, our Sovereign Lord! We are humble in your midst, and thrilled to do your work. Let your voice of love and grace stream through ours this night.
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.” ​Luke 2: 8-10, 13-14  TLB
 Waaaay back in the last century, I was part of the choral music program. In a high school of nearly 4000, that made the combined choirs pretty massive. Back in the day, it was tradition for many school and church choirs to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” every Christmas. The first year I participated was amazing! Truly, Dear Reader, I was nearly convinced our praise would transcend the packed performing arts center. Have you had a similar experience, Dear Reader? Part of a team, whether musical, athletic, or maybe a debate team whose primary goal was excellence? A group where everyone was working together for everyone’s benefit… Or maybe you’ve had the opportunity to see outstanding teamwork on a stage or playing field. So much inspiration is  to be had even being on the outside looking in. As much as I was thrilled to participate in the choir decades ago, God had even more in store. For several years our son, James, was a key  player in a Midwest state’s annual conference for one of the major denominations. James selected and orchestrated the music. He traveled around the state recruiting and rehearsing with musicians and singers. And when he stepped his six foot five self up onto that podium, this Mama’s heart nearly burst with pride. (And yes, Dear Reader, this Mama knows pride is a sin…but when it’s one of your kids bringing glory to God, what else do you call it?) Later, James told us he’d only rehearsed with the choir a few times, and the whole ensemble once or twice. And yet when he stretched his eight foot wingspan, baton in hand, they all came together as one to give God praise. Dearest Reader, I truly believe each of us has a unique combination of gifts we are to share with others. Frequently, I think the fullest expression of those gifts can only be experienced when they are brought together with the gifts of others. During this time of Advent, in all the hustle and bustle in search of perfect gifts, I hope you’ll have your socks blown off by the joy that comes with giving yourself, and your gifts to the Christ Child, and to His children. Come on, Dear Reader, there’s a chorus out there just waiting for your voice!

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