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Sunday Stillness: Advent 4 - Lessons and Carols


This Sunday is the service of LESSONS AND CAROLS at 8:15, 9:30 & 11:00! A seasonal choir, under the direction of Brian Budahan, has been rehearsing for seven weeks. We will also be blessed by additional vocalists and instrumentalists. Lessons from God’s Word will be read in our midst and there will be time to follow in the footsteps of Mary as “she kept all these things, pondering them in her heart!” My prayer is that we will gather for worship and adoration on Sunday in the spirit of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

After visiting Jesus' birthplace in 1865, Phillips Brooks penned his great carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and it is all about quietness: "How still we see thee lie," "The silent stars go by," and then "How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given." Silence: a stranger we may have met, but have since forgotten, neglected, or avoided. Perhaps the greatest gift we could give ourselves, and each other during this season, would be quite simply to become friends of silence, to block out some time, to be still, to be quiet, to hear the coming Lord whisper, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

We have grown accustomed to so much noise and busyness! Maybe we've come to prefer the noise, but God is a lover of silence. In that little town of Bethlehem, lying so still, the wondrous gift of God's own self was given - "silently, how silently." Some despair, saying "I can't hear God saying anything to me." But the silence is God's language. The quiet is God's wish for peace in our souls, and in God's good world. May each of us be still on Sunday and know that God is God! And to Him alone belongs all glory, power and honor!

I hope you will make the journey to the Inn at Central this Sunday as we gather in silence and darkness for the SERVICE OF LESSONS AND CAROLS! It could well be the best Christmas gift you receive!

With love and gratefulness for you!

Paul Johansson