Monday, December 16, 2013

Make a Joyful Noise -- 3rd Pause in Advent

Yesterday evening was our church's Christmas Service. I worked very hard, as a small church pastor's wife, to plan the program for this Lessons and Carols Service, enlisting readers for the various Scripture passages and asking people to sing or play. Twisting a few arms. Shifting around numbers at the last minute with cancelations and additions. Making sure the candles were lit in the windows, the lectern and Bible were ready, the Advent wreath was situated, the music was in order, the fellowship hall was set up for a massive covered dish dinner, all the decorations were in place, the ovens were warm, the drinks were cold, the tables were set, the poinsettias were watered, the bulletins were printed .... Well, you get the idea.

And it was a lovely service and meaningful to those who attended. We had many visitors. The dinner was delicious, even though it seemed every church lady must've thought, "I'd better take meat! What if nobody brings meat? I'll cook a roast!"  It was a man's covered-dish, sure enough.

The church kitchen afterward is always a bit of a disaster, and Adam and I were technically in charge of the set up and clean up. But as usual, church ladies gathered in the kitchen, bustling around with sponges and dishes and cloths, and before you know it, poof!! The kitchen is sparkling.

And that's when my favorite moment of the evening occurred. One church lady (Martha) just spontaneously burst into song in the kitchen while she was drying a plate. Her face was suddenly alight, and she opened her mouth, and sang "O Come, All Ye Faithful," and we joined in. We sang carol after carol as the eaters sopped up their plates and the desserts disappeared, and the pots and pans were brought in for washing. It was a joy! I loved glancing around at Joyce, Linda, Martha, and others, singing lustily and happily, who would never dream of joining a choir, who don't sing that loudly in the sanctuary! I wiped a table down, bending over the crumbs and smiling as I sang with them.

Sometimes the best moments of Advent are unscripted. They occur when the joyful heart is overcome with wonder and love, and it bursts into song, unasked. Thank you, church ladies. It was some of the nicest music of the evening. I'm hoping for more joyful, unexpected moments this Advent.

Join Floss for other Pause in Advent readings.


  1. How fabulous! You'll ponder that in your heart forever! I've just seen a facebook thing that says- Love is what's in the room at Christmas if you'll just stop opening presents and listen. Probably works for your joy too!

  2. It all sounds wonderful. But the phrase "Small church pastor's wife" amuses me - are you the pastors wife in a small church, the wife of a small church pastor, or the small wife of a church pastor?? [I am the latter!!] advent blessings xx

  3. I'm glad you were able to get the time to write down the details of that dinner, so we could all have a bit of it vicariously.

    I also noticed what Angela noticed, about your syntax, and I think it is a sign that writing at The Bean is challenging! ;-)

  4. Things are growing in your lovely church body! Good things! Yay for you and Adam and your enthusiastic hearts.

  5. That is wonderful! Spontaneity can be so fabulous. Singing brings joy to our hearts and to the hearers.

    Have a wonderful Christmas week ~ FlowerLady

  6. Thank you all, dear friends :) Angela -- you tickle me!! I'm definitely not SMALL, although I'm slowly getting smaller - haha!! We have a small church. We had about 40 at our service/dinner, and that is a good crowd for us, although not as large as possible. We both enjoy a small church very much. There are certain advantages that you really lose as a church gets more members. Anyway ... it was a lovely weekend, and the joy on people's faces was the best part!

  7. I think this is my favorite Advent post of all. Would have LOVED to be there helping.


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