JOY. That is what SJCS students shared on Friday December 1. Between the Preschool concert in the morning and the evening concert shared by Band and Choir students, joy resounded. From the jingle of the bells to the boom of the tympani, from the sweet voices of our youngest students to the deep baritone of our middle schoolers, we started the month of December with a focus on Christmas and the joy we received at the birth of our Savior. A big thank you to all who participated and all who attended.
I love that the Advent season is upon us, a time to remember that we have Immanuel, God with us. More than two thousand years have passed since that first Christmas morning, and God remains faithful to giving His people good gifts. As I imagine what that night was like, when God came down as a baby and then God the Father announced through a brilliant light the arrival, the ordinary became extraordinary. God showed His love for us that day when His Son left Heaven for earth, knowing that He would one day go to the cross. Wow! God loves us so well. Let’s each reflect that love to others during this month. And way beyond that!
About 15 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Vienna, Austria with my church choir to sing at several cathedrals in Vienna and surrounding cities. (We even sang at the church where Mozart played the organ-so cool!) Many other choirs joined us as part of a large Advent sing festival that lasted for the entire Advent season. Advent candles could be found at every corner and market. It was amazing to be part of the anticipation of Christmas.
In Latin, the word advent means coming. At Christmas, it doesn’t mean the coming of gifts or parties or shopping, but the coming of our Savior. Take a minute to think about the number of years that Jesus’ coming was anticipated. However, the fact that he came in such a humble way, as a baby, was not the splendor that many expected. Even with Isaiah’s prophecy that He would be born to a virgin, there was (and is) unbelief. For the Savior to be born into the poverty of a peasant and spend His first night in a feed trough was unimaginable. Think of it. The God of the universe left the glory of heaven and moved into a rough neighborhood. All because He loves us.
As we look forward to celebrate Christ’s first coming, His birth, let’s remember to praise God and be amazed by His Gift of love to us.
Christ Himself was like God in everything...But He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. Philippians 2:6-7