Be Still, Know, Remember And Wait
If you are anything like me, and I fear most of you are, December is an overwhelmingly busy time. We are ending another long year, yet our calendars are crammed with holiday parties. The frenzy of Christmas shopping only leaves the (and this) consumer consumed. Each year I find myself in over my head with the tasks I have to do, increasingly distracted from the beauty of Advent. I find it hard in the rush and hurry, decorating, traveling, and task management of the Christmas season to simply be still, know, remember and wait. Culturally, we have made the season one wrapped up in presents, red and green decor, jingle bells, and holiday "cheer". Some days though, the cheer fades, I almost begin to resent all things Christmas. Sadly, there can even be moments when "Joy To The World" seems to exclude me.
In the evangelical Church we are intentional about focusing heavily on the religious celebration of Jesus's birth. We work hard to create elaborate and spectacular "services" with complex musical arrangements, children's choirs, live nativity, and even whole drum lines of "drummer boys". If you happen to be involved in Church leadership, you are likely overworked and near exhaustion from planning for all things Christmas worship. Sometimes we can work to the point that what is supposed to be musical-worship may feel more like musical-execution. For many years, the only moment of "heavenly peace" I experienced, was the 90 seconds of candlelight programmed into the Christmas Eve gathering.
This year, for me, has been slightly different. I have been cross-pollinated (in the spirit of this Exchange) into the journey of the liturgical church. I am learning the importance of making time to be still and remember how remarkable it is that "Word became flesh and dwelt among men". In addition to the reflection of Christ's incarnation, the exposure to Advent has encouraged me also to remember that Jesus, the light of the world will one day return! For the first time, I am learning to wait in quiet expectation! A day is coming when God himself will be our light! We will have no need for sun or lamp because Christ will come again in the fullness of His glory. I am learning the importance of being disciplined to shut out the noise, look back on, and look towards His coming.
In Dallas Ft. Worth (DFW) a multi-denominational community of local worship leaders gather every few months for a meal, prayer, and community. Last week this group of Church music pastors gathered for their meal and then made our way to a stunning Episcopal chapel. There, we asked the lord to help us enter into His rest, sat together before the lord in silence. We continued with the reading of passages of scriptures, each reading followed by an a cappella singing of a traditional carol. There was such beauty in the simplicity. There were no bright lights, no sound system, no production, just the power reading of God's word and the lyric and melody of the hymn-writers of old.
Are you over stimulated by busyness?
Has the beauty of Advent and Christmas become tarnished?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you in need of peace?
We invite you to stop, be still, and join the Worship Leaders of DFW in this reflection. Here is raw recording of our time together. May the Lord meet you where you are as powerfully as he did us!