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Prepare the Way, Advent 3: Singing

We will be posting Advent and Christmas devotions Fridays November 30, December 7, 14 & 21, and Christmas Day. You may use these devotions as you want – for yourself, with a group or as a family; all at once, or broken up throughout the week. We suggest you start with the Scripture readings before you engage the other pieces. Enjoy!

Scripture

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Luke 3:7-18

Reflection

Singing may or may not be your greatest talent, but there is a reason the Bible asks us to make a joyful noise to the Lord so often – it’s pretty fun. Whether you are the star soloist in your church or school choir or you are far from it God loves to hear us raise up our voices in joy and praise. And, frankly, so do a lot of other people.

If you have gone Christmas caroling, you probably have seen how many smiles it has brought, despite a few grinches out there. And singing makes you feel joyful, too. It is fun to sing – in the car, in the shower, at church, with a group during the holidays. You also use your voice and breath in different ways than we normally do, so your whole body gets something out of singing.

There are other ways we can spread joy during the holidays. Luke mentions that John the Baptist proclaimed good news (after addressing a few grinches in the crowd) to get people ready for Jesus’ ministry. How can we share good news with people during this time? What if the holiday season brings them sadness instead of joy? Perhaps singing a few Christmas favorites might cheer them up, but perhaps writing a kind note or offering to spend time sitting and listening to a friend who is struggling might be good news for them.

There are many ways to take the joy of Advent and turn it into good news outside of the church and our homes. Singing reminds us of that joy, and the other ways we can offer good news to the world.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is something bringing you joy right now?
  2. Is anything making you sad right now?
  3. What is one way you can share joy with other people?
  4. What is one way you like other people to share joy with you?

Make It Your Own

What is a favorite Christmas song? Create something to illustrate that song – a drawing, a table centerpiece, a Christmas ornament – and find a local nursing home, homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter or foster organization that might need it to share with those who do not have their own decorations.

And, if it is a place where you might be invited to stay a while and get to know some people, make some time to do that and make some new friends, too. And, yes, sing some carols for and with them.

Prayer

God who came to walk among us – help us look outside of our own needs, our own homes, our comfort zones, and put our faith into action. Turn us outward and move us forward so we can spread the gifts of your love with all we meet. Help us to see where your comfort and joy are most needed and send us out. We are ready! Amen.

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