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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today’s Reading | Zechariah 2:10–11  

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. (NRSV)

How do we know when the Lord is dwelling in our midst? I am coming into my first Advent in many, many years where I am not a part of a church choir. Now, I can’t profess to know all that there is to know about the book of Zechariah, but singing and rejoicing has been a constant part of my life, specifically during Advent and Lent. Studies have shown that singing in a choir can actually lower a person’s blood pressure. Further studies have shown heartbeats actually start to sync  up in groups that sing together often. In these verses of Zechariah, God is literally asking God’s people to go to the Jerusalem hill of Zion to sync up, to be one, to join together in a time of song and praise as a way to let the Lord in collectively.

This Christmas Eve, I will miss standing in the candlelight with the choir as they lead the congregation in Silent Night. If there was ever a time when I could stand knowing in all fullness that God was present, dwelling in our midst, it has been in a sanctuary on Christmas Eve. Many nations will come together on Christmas Eve to join themselves to the Lord, some of whom still find themselves in a state of exile--much like those at the time of the writing of Zechariah. May we sync up this Advent season. May we join together in a world that needs the hope of our communal singing and rejoicing . . . silent night, holy night.

Gracious and loving God, may church remain an open place where all may come to seek the Lord of hosts, both in the fullness of song on Christmas Eve and every other day of the year. Amen.

Written by Mark Eldred,
Worship Coordinator and Interim Director of Adult Education

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