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Advent Reflection for December 17, 2021

Amidst the busyness of our schedules, the uncertainties of the times once again, the anticipation - both good and tricky - of the season... there’s alot. And that’s when we get to call upon God to be with us. Emmanuel...God with us. And lately I’ve been calling upon our God of JOY and STRENGTH.

I value fullness. I thrive in community. I like noise. I love big, bold worship times. Quieter spaces of reflection and listening are more challenging for me. So when I came across the song Revelation 19 by Maverick City Music on their Christmas album, I found myself listening to it on repeat! I crank it loud and allow myself to get lost in the bigness of the song and music! There's something about the choir's voices that are so enveloping and stir life and joy deep within me. There's this boldness and strength in their voices that reminds me of my God's boldness and strength! It becomes a bit contagious!

It may not be a gospel choir or big sound that stirs up joy and strength for you. It may in fact be the stillness of a quiet night, looking at the lights of your Christmas tree or playing a game with your grandchild or hiking through the snow in a forest.... But I encourage you to find something that you can ‘get lost in’ that will remind you of our God of strength and joy that you ‘can blast loudly’ into your heart and mind and day. And as able… repeat it often! There is so much to get lost in these weeks, why not get lost in Him, our Messiah, our ultimate source of strength and joy.

Nehemiah 8:10 paints a great picture of God’s invitation to joy in Him (that feels particularly appropriate this time of year! I see it as permission to eat all the treats! haha!)

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

And Psalm 27: 7&8 says

Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and shield.I trust him with all my heart.

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.

I burst out in songs of thanksgiving!

Yahweh is my strength and my wraparound shield.

When I fully trust in you, help is on the way.

I jump for joy and burst forth with ecstatic, passionate praise!

I will sing songs of what you mean to me!

You will be the inner strength of all your people, Yahweh, the mighty protector of all,

and the saving strength for all your anointed ones.

Today, will you choose one thing that will stir some joy & strength in your day. And make it a moment to allow God to be with you!

And do check out the song if you have a chance. And crank it loud!

Written by Rhonda


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