We are so pleased to share our 2015 Advent Devotions with you!
As you may know, most of the contributors to our devotions are members of our Lutheran Indian Ministries staff. Many, of course, are of Native American heritage who have been recruited to serve with our ministry. All of our contributors to the message have had experience serving with us in some form of our ministry.
It is our sincere hope that these reflections will enhance your Advent meditation and will encourage your faith. May God bless you!
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!" (Psalm 98:4, ESV)
Last year as our family sat around the Christmas dinner table, our conversation led to old traditions. We talked about their origin and why we don’t see many of them practiced today.
As I reflected on some of my own childhood traditions, one of our grandsons asked, “Why don’t we go caroling door to door?” Then he asked, “Why hasn’t anyone come to my door singing Christmas carols?”
I had to ponder the questions for a while. Now, I know people who still go Christmas caroling, but mostly it happens in places like hospitals or retirement homes. But when I grew up, door-to-door caroling was a Christmas tradition. I looked forward to that time of year when our church group would pile all of us into cars and trucks. The anticipation was exciting as we bundled up in warm coats against the night air. As children, we watched our breath come out of our mouths in visible puffs as we sang beautiful songs announcing the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
People were always so happy that we came by their homes, and we were almost always greeted with hot chocolate, donuts and cookies. I remember the joy I felt as the words flowed from my mouth with such gusto, not caring if I wasn’t the best singer in the group. I was singing about the birth of Jesus!
These days, with changes in our society and how we interact with one another, we mostly sing Christmas carols in our churches or gathered around the Christmas tree in our homes. They are still the same beautiful songs proclaiming the coming of our Lord.
With Advent upon us, maybe we should look back and recall a Christmas tradition that we grew up doing, that perhaps we don’t practice as much today. Maybe there is something redeemable in it that brings hope to our hurting world. Let’s raise our voices this season and proclaim the birth of Jesus our King!
Thank You, Father, for giving us voices to sing praises of hope and joy, so that others will know the greatest gift of all, Your Son, Jesus! Amen.
- Deaconess Cathy Benzler (Cherokee), Washington/Olympic Peninsula
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