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Music Ministry Reflections

As I am writing this article, the lectionary readings for this Sunday are as gloomy as they can get – there is talk about warning signs and the end times. Sometimes I feel like that when I turn on the news, it’s all doom and gloom. And yet, when I turn to the hymns and anthems we are doing this season, I am reminded that there is hope and light. For our Lessons & Carols this year (December 22nd at 10:30am! Mark your calendars!), one of the hymns we will sing is ELW 285, Peace Came to Earth, which opens with the line “Peace came to earth at last that chosen night.” That’s how Christmas often feels – at last, there is peace and hope, and we are surrounded by our family. Maybe that’s why every year, decorations come out earlier and earlier, because sometimes we need the reminder that hope and peace is coming. But we don’t need to hang up lights or wait until Christmas to feel that peace. Peace came to Earth when Jesus was born, and the peace of God remains with us always.

Last week, as our children’s choir was coming up with an extra verse to do for their anthem, one of them suggested the line “God gives us hope, right now.” I was so moved by this message – we have the peace and hope of God, right now, not only Christmas morning. I hope and pray that you find a way to carve out moments of peace and hope for you in the midst of this busy season. Maybe it’s by paying attention to the words of a hymn you are singing on Sunday morning, or reading a book for pleasure or reflection, joining a group at church (ask our choir members – singing relieves stress!), meeting a friend for a coffee, or starting your day with prayer.

I’d like to end this month’s reflection by saying a big thank you to all of you for a wonderful start to my season as music director. Your kindness and dedication is very appreciated, and you are what I am very thankful for this Thanksgiving season and beyond.