MY PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK

Music Notes ColorfulBe filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts. Ephesians 5:18-19

 

I am not one of those people who hears clear messages from God. He doesn’t whisper in my ear very often. But He does speak to me, daily, bringing to my mind the lyrics of Christian—and sometimes secular—songs. Most people get tunes stuck in their heads sometimes—they are called “ear worms,” and there are even scientific studies about why we can’t shake them from our brains. But the lyrics that I hear seem to match the mood I’m in, or the circumstances I’m experiencing at any given time, and I just don’t believe they pop into my head randomly. I’ve been playing drums and singing in various bands since I was a young adult, first professionally and now as a volunteer on our church’s contemporary worship team. I’ve played a lot of different kinds of music and memorized many lyrics, and snippets of those lyrics weave in and out of my conscious awareness and visit me when I’m asleep.

 

Take the tune that’s whirling in my head today: “We Are Refugees” by John Bryant (written for Up With People, an educational organization whose mission is to inspire young people to make a difference in their world). The song’s lyrics speak of those who are forced from their native land because of war, famine, or strife. When I see the news these days about migrants at our southern border, the lyrics of this song pop into my head and move me deeply, bringing me to my knees in prayer. Last winter when I received a diagnosis of melanoma and was facing surgery (which thankfully revealed the cancer had not spread beyond the offending mole), I prayed that God would give me peace and the ability to sleep until the results were in. I sang my favorite hymns at night when I could not think of words to pray: “Blessed Assurance,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” among others. And when I am full of joy, Bret Hesla’s contemporary “Justice Like A Base of Stone” provides me with a true shot of spiritual adrenaline with its message of fairness and equality for all.

 

Lord, You bless me in countless ways, and I especially like my personal soundtrack! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

WHAT BACK DOOR?

what back doorI pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-18

 

Recently, I was asked to participate in a group about groups. A number of folks apparently stood out as potential leaders for small groups at our church, and the pastor invited us to spend six Wednesday evenings together discussing what small group leadership looked like to us. During one of the initial meetings, the topic of shrinking attendance at all mainstream Christian churches in the United States came up. Someone said, “We need to close the back door so people won’t leave.” I wasn’t sure if that was meant as a joke or not. Perhaps I’m not the person to ask about closing the back door.

 

You see, I’m a “new” Christian. I only accepted Christ as my personal Savior forty-four years ago, when I was twenty-eight, so I don’t consider myself a “life-long” Christian. I didn’t grow up in the church. I never had parents or grandparents or pastors or Sunday school teachers who tried to “raise me right.” I didn’t go through confirmation until I was almost twenty-nine, long after my teenaged-self thought I knew more about life than church could teach me, for heaven’s sake! You see, I’m still excited about church, and I have no intention of leaving, by the back door or the front door or the window. I’m here for the long haul. They are stuck with me, warts and all.

 

So I can’t get into a discussion of “closing the back door” to retain current members or ensure new members stay. All we have to do is get them so excited about Christ that they won’t leave. Ever. If there is anything I will have to say about it, I plan to share my faith in a way that gets other people excited too. God doesn’t want us perfect. He just wants us excited to know Him.

 

Lord, I pray that each member of our church…“may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com   MegCorrigan@comcast.net

MULTITASKING

Professor and Baby (2)Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

 

Professor Bruce Johnson was surprised the photo went viral. As a math teacher at Arkansas State University, holding a baby while lecturing to his class was no big deal. He and other profs at the college often encourage their students to bring their children to class when childcare arrangements fail. “A student brought her two-year old son and we played for some time,” Johnson reported enthusiastically.

 

My husband and I experienced a similar situation at an orthopedic symposium in Hawaii several years ago. We were invited to a dinner put on by what I call a “body parts” company (medical implants manufacturer) and a surgeon was giving a presentation. When the infant son of a couple attending began to fuss, the doctor kept lecturing while he went over to the parents and collected the child, and cuddled him while continuing to lecture. I think it is refreshing when a potentially serious, no-nonsense situation can become a delightful experience for all involved because someone decides to multitask so another person can relax. Both the students at Arkansas State University and the young couple at the orthopedic symposium absorbed more information, and some child-loving lecturers got their “baby fix.” What’s not to like?

 

God is the ultimate Super Multitasker. He can hold each one of us in His loving arms and make us feel that we are the most important person in the history of the whole human race. He is so close, if we listen carefully, we can hear Him breathing. At the same time, God can orchestrate the migration of a million Monarch butterflies, keep the water flowing in all the rivers on earth, and touch the hearts of worshipers around the world, all on a Sunday morning. He can mend the broken heart of a sixteen year old boy when he is rejected by his first crush, help an oncologist save the life of her patient, and whisper in the ear of a dying man in his own language on the battlefield in a faraway country in a war that breaks His holy heart. God is there for each of us when we need Him, in our finest hour and our worst nightmare.

 

We thank You, Lord, that Your love is everlasting, large enough to simultaneously meet each of our needs. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com   MegCorrigan@comcast.net

LIQUID RAINBOW

Cano Cristales RiverWhenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. Genesis 9:16

 

The Caño Cristales River runs through Colombia’s Serranía de la Macarena national park, in the province of Meta, and is known as the “River of Five Colors.” Translated to English, the “Crystal Channel” is a 62.1 mile-long river that flows bright red, green, yellow, blue and black when conditions are right, with the brightest colors from June through November. The colors are produced during the reproductive process of a certain type of river weed. This “liquid rainbow” is one of Colombia’s most amazing natural wonders, drawing visitors from all over the world.

 

Caño Cristales is a fast-flowing river with many rapids and waterfalls. Small circular pits known as giant’s kettles can be found in many parts of the riverbed, which have been formed by pebbles or chunks of harder rocks. Once one of these harder rock fragments falls into one of the cavities, it is rotated by the water current and begins to carve at the cavity wall, increasing the dimensions of the pit.

 

This “liquid rainbow” reminds me of God’s covenant with His people in Genesis 9. The Lord said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (vs. 12&13). To me, every natural wonder that God has created is a covenant between God and all the people of the earth. This planet is our only home, the one God gave us on which to live. The Scriptures are full of references to God’s mighty works and how human beings are not only in awe of them but charged with their care. The psalmist says, “One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). It is our covenant—agreement—with God to pass on to the next generation the beautiful natural wonders such as Caño Cristales, intact and preserved as God intended.

 

Creating God, we thank You for the mighty works of Your hand. We promise to care for them for You as long as we live here. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

POLITICAL PRISONERS

Jerusulem During Christ's LifeIn Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:15-16

 

Most of us overlook the importance of the occupation of the Romans in Israel during the life of Christ. The Roman emperor Caesar appeared to hold complete power over the citizens of Israel, including the Man Jesus. The Jewish leaders had made their peace with the Romans and were able to direct the activities of their church only at the whim and the will of the Roman emperor and his designated officers. We don’t often consider the political climate during Christ’s life on earth and how that environment impacted his crucifixion. Think about Pilate’s custom of releasing one prisoner at the request of the Jewish people during their Passover celebration. Pilate must have thought he was being such a benevolent leader, to allow a benevolent departure from his iron-handed rule. But Pilate got a real surprise when the Jewish people demanded that he release Barabbas, a known rebel leader, instead of the mild-mannered and clearly innocent Jesus. Pilate answered to Caesar and Caesar believed he alone was god.

 

In the first chapter of Colossians, Paul makes it clear that Caesar was no god. The one true God is Christ, above “thrones or dominions or rulers or powers” (v. 16). Caesar was a fraud, a paper tiger, a puffed-up politician who ruled his empire without mercy or compassion. His empire, too, was phony. When Caesar died, another man took his place.

 

We can embrace many kinds of empires in this world. We can be loyal to politicians, parties, positions and philosophies. We can pledge our allegiance to the darker things of this world, and we can give up meaningful lifestyles for crippling addictions and bad habits and poor judgement. But nothing in this world will ever come close to the power and majesty of the reign of Jesus Christ. He is reality. He bears the full glory of the King of the universe, and He will be with us forever. “In Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17), and He will keep us in His careful care throughout eternity.

 

Lord of the Universe, we thank You that You are above all the powers of the earth and under the earth. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

LIVING WITHOUT FEAR

Courage Not FearThere is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 1 John 4:18

 

When people experience actual or perceived threat of severe harm, their brain chemistry changes. Even in the absence of physical injury, trauma can disrupt memory and mimic real brain damage. Memories of trauma can be kept hidden from one’s consciousness, due to shame or fear; the memory is too much to handle. Or sometimes intrusive images or unpleasant thoughts cause profound anxiety, even if the thoughts are not about the specific trauma. Emotions surrounding the trauma are often experienced more powerfully than everyday feelings. Unresolved trauma memories may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can include irritability, nightmares, emotional detachment, and heightened startle response. Life after trauma delivers very real symptoms that can last a lifetime if not treated.

 

In the counseling work that I have done with trauma survivors, including war veterans and refugees, and those who have experienced sexual assault and domestic violence, there is never a perfect path to recovery. As a sexual assault survivor myself, my faith in God has been an integral part of my healing. It saddens me when I see others fearful and distrusting of a God Who they feel has abandoned them in their worst hour. While we must meet survivors at the point at which they come to us, and we must allow them each to work through their experiences in their own way, one passage of the Bible appears to have universal appeal to many who have experienced trauma.

 

1 John speaks about love, fear, punishment and perfection: important concepts in working through trauma. Love and fear, he says, are incompatible; we cannot truly experience both at the same time. Love produces boldness, giving us courage to dispel fear. Courage scatters fear, and signals all that frightens us that new ground has been broken. The audacity of moving forward from fear builds more courage and invites more trust and more love. It is the profound and sacred purpose of the church to respond to those who have been traumatized with the love that we know to be from Christ. No other force will ever be stronger than Christ’s love.

 

Lord of Courage and Justice, fill us with Your exquisite, fear-dispelling love today! Amen

 

In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault and educate communities on how to prevent it. In April 2020, the I Ask campaign will enter its second year, as we continue to explore the importance of consent in healthy relationships and empower everyone to put it into practice. Please see this weblink for more information:

https://www.nsvrc.org/saam

HITCH YOUR WAGON TO A STAR

Covered WagonThe fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher and poet who greatly influenced society during his lifetime. He and his close friend, Henry David Thoreau, both proposed (among many other ideas) that man’s relationship to nature was of paramount importance. “Philosophically considered,” Emerson said simply, “the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.” He rejected the idea that God was separate from the world, that He lives in some far away heaven that mortal man cannot see, touch or feel. Emerson’s and Thoreau’s thinking was radical at the time but many of their followers embraced the idea that exposure to nature was inherent to individual peace and tranquility. Many today still believe God is closest when people stay close to nature. Indeed, I find great solace in spending time among this world’s beautiful scenery and wildlife.

 

One of Emerson’s most famous quotes was, “Hitch your wagon to a star.” The saying has been used in all sorts of ways in the two hundred-some years since Emerson wrote it. A simple explanation of his meaning might be for us to “aim high, set our sights on a lofty goal.” Its meaning for me makes me think of aligning ourselves with a lifestyle that closely reflects our most basic values. A good list of the values I hold dear is the “Fruit of the Spirit” set forth by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23. It is interesting to note that not one of the “fruits” Paul lists— love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—names a particular person, place, object or thing, fame or fortune, or political party. Paul’s list, which embodies all of Christ’s teaching in a few well-chosen words, is about what is inside of us, what gives us integrity. Webster defines “integrity” in two ways: (1) the quality of being honest and fair, and (2) the state of being complete or whole. What better way to maintain our integrity and find wholeness than to live out God’s “spiritual fruits.” Hitch your wagon to the “Morning Star”—a reference to Jesus in Revelation 21—and see the Son shine brightly in your earthly life!

 

Morning Star, let me “hitch” myself to You and soar to great heights! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

GREAT GRATITUDE

Little Girl PrayingSing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. Psalm 147:7

 

Writer and television host Ben Stein once said, “Be grateful….It’s the only reliable get-rich-quick scheme.” This is a good reminder for me, not because I have made an exhaustive search of “get-rich-quick schemes,” but because I don’t trust anyone or anybody who tells me I can get rich quick! I’ve certainly had my share of moments when I thought, “Money isn’t everything…but I’d sure like to have some, just to check that premise out!” I’m a creative person, and I appreciate beautiful things: clothes, jewelry, houses, furniture, cars, food, you name it! But I am grateful that I don’t have the kind of money or lifestyle where I can purchase any thing I want any time I want. Getting rich just to get rich seems like an awful waste of time!

 

Instead, tonight I’m thinking of all the things for which I am grateful that don’t cost a lot of money. I’m grateful for this fifteen-year-old computer that still lets me type my devotional posts. I’m grateful for the friend who helped me set up my devotional blog (almost) for free, and I’m certainly grateful that I know how to post on my blog (at my age). I’m grateful every day for the ideas God gives me for my devotions. He has never let me down, when I wrote a blog a day a few years ago, and still now when I write one a week. The snippets of Scripture or quotes from people like Ben Stein have me scrambling to get them down before I forget them. Sometimes all I get down is a word or a phrase, but I’m grateful it’s enough to go back and expand on that idea. The process makes me read things more carefully and notice the world around me more fully than I would if I wasn’t always writing about my world. What a blessing to view everything I see, hear and read as potential material for a special devotional! To think I could be stumbling through this world not noticing all the “little” things that really are not so “little” after all.

 

Lord of All Good Gifts, I’m grateful that I have my senses—seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, and even caring about the world You have provided around me! Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan finds ideas for her devotional blogs in everyday places and events, from comic strips to magazines and books, comments on the fly from people she meets, ancient memories of her childhood, and nigglings from God. To date, she has written nearly 700 different devotions, filling one book of daily readings, Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, published in 2015. Meg is working on a second book (Saints TWO) which she had hoped would be completed by now. She posts once a week, which means in seven years, she will have enough entries to fill a second book. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, so Meg is pacing herself, enjoying spending time with her husband, their four daughters and spouses, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as their rescue dog, Bassett/Beagle mix Ginger. Meg is involved in volunteer work at her church, Christ Lutheran in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and also with sexual violence/sex trafficking prevention and education. She speaks to groups whenever she if offered the opportunity. She is a voracious reader of other people’s writing, which gives her lots of ideas for more devotional blogs. Read more about her at www.MegCorrigan.com or contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net .

OVERWHELMING DEBT

Woman managing the debtLet no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

 

In today’s world of uncertain medical coverage and greedy health providers, an entire family’s resources can be threatened or wiped out by one catastrophic illness. Just ask the 472 families across Arkansas and Texas who recently found out that their medical bills of hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars were being paid off by a church in a state a thousand miles from them. A Lord of Life Church member in Brooklyn Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, told his pastor about “RIP Medical Debt,” a non-profit led by two former debt collectors familiar with the health industry. RIP buys debt from hospitals and providers with funds donated from celebrities, churches, and other organizations. The debt is bought up for pennies on the dollar, so even modest donations can eliminate a huge debt for those who have no other way to pay their medical bills. Lord of Life Church raised $15,000 in the fall of 2019, enough to pay off $1.6 million in medical debt! So why didn’t they use the money in their (my) home state of Minnesota? Well, state protections in Minnesota limit the purchase of debt. Undaunted, Lord of Life decided it would still use the money to help people in some of the poorer parts of our nation; hence, the gifts went towards medical bills for families in two southern states. (The church has plans to raise more money to help locals with medical debt.)

 

In Romans 13:8, the Apostle Paul speaks of our compelling responsibility to love others, thereby fulfilling the second part of Christ’s Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”). How can mere mortals love with that much surety and abandon? By never doubting the power of God to direct our efforts to the right person in the right place at the right time!

 

Giver of All Good Gifts, open our hands and hearts and help us to love with surety and abandon. Amen

 

For more information about the RIP Medical Debt program, or to make a donation, go to: https://ripmedicaldebt.org/

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger, to the delight of all who read her work and hear her speak. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

ROCK ON, LITTLE DRUMMER BOY!

Little Drummer Boy ComicalPraise him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Psalm 150:4

 

“The Little Drummer Boy,” originally known as “Carol of the Drum,” is a song written by American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. The Trapp Family Singers first recorded the song in 1951; many other recordings and performances followed. A twelfth-century French legend is said to have been the inspiration for the song. The lyrics tell of a poor boy who was invited by the Maji to come see the Baby Jesus in His manger. The boy had no gift for the Infant King, but he played his little drum. The boy says, “I played my best for Him,” and “He smiled at me.”

 

This song has long had a special meaning for me, since I play trap set drums in our church’s contemporary band. During Advent, we play seasonal traditional and contemporary songs in the worship services. Christmas Eve is filled with special music from all our music groups—choir, bells, youth, solos, instrumentalists, as well as our band. With my husband on bass guitar, and others playing keyboards, rhythm guitar, congas, horns, and several of us singing, it is an honor and a delight to lead worship on such a sacred night. I am encouraged by the words of the psalmist, telling of those ancient people of God using all kinds of musical instruments in worship. I cannot imagine a church service, baptism, wedding or funeral without instrumental and vocal offerings, and I am humbled to be a part of our worship music.

 

The story of The Little Drummer Boy is fanciful; it is highly unlikely that a real boy possessing a drum was around Bethlehem the night of our Lord’s birth. But the point of the tale is that each of us has unique “gifts” to offer in service to our King. Galatians 5:22 names but a few of these special gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness. Believers all over this diverse world can fill in the blanks with others: hospitality, discernment, lifting others up, fighting oppression. Volunteer opportunities abound in healthcare, childcare, ending hunger, teaching, ecology, protecting wildlife. Can you bring your unique gift to the Christ Child this Christmas? Opportunities are as varied as the human imagination.

 

Jesus, stir us to bring our gifts to You this Christmas. Amen