KEEPING OUR TANKS FULL

gaspumpI will praise the Lord, Who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:7-8

 

My husband and I are on a road trip, to escape the cold weather in our home state of Minnesota. We are taking mostly back roads, on our way to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Since we aren’t near any major highways, we are on the lookout for smaller, clean gas stations with reasonably priced fuel. We won’t take a chance on letting our tank approach empty since we are not sure where we might find the next gas station. This is also true of our own personal energy tanks: we want to make sure we have something to eat before we get too cranky, and we want to find a decent motel with a comfortable bed to lay our heads down before we become so exhausted we are a danger to each other and our dog.

 

Why is it that we can think so rationally about what we need to make our cars operate properly, to keep our stomachs full and our physical bodies rested—but we often abandon our efforts to stay spiritually nourished when we are away from home? In our defense, we bring along two daily devotional booklets, and we each have a Bible “app” on our phones. We read these devotions every day and we always pray before meals. But we will be on the road for the two Sundays we are on the trip, so church is out. So how can we remain spiritually fed while we are travelling?

 

The Psalmist says that the Lord is always with us; He gives us instructions, even when we sleep (Psalm 16:7). I have a choice, as we are driving down these beautiful, rolling, back country roads: I can ponder the problems in my everyday life, and all the sorrow and sadness in this world, or I can say as the Psalmist does, “my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure” (v. 9) I can praise God for this wonderful trip and the peace it is giving my husband and me.

 

Thank You, God! The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance! (v. 6) 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 .

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 .

CRY ME A RIVER

Tears_Macro_Female_face-1200x628-FacebookYou keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 NLT

 

According to Wikipedia, “Tears are a clear liquid secreted by the lacrimal glands (tear gland) found in the eyes of all land mammals (except for goats and rabbits). Their functions include lubricating the eyes (basal tears), removing irritants (reflex tears), and aiding the immune system.” The American Academy of Pediatrics says that babies “cry” a lot, but they don’t produce tears until they are seven or eight months old. Women cry on average almost twice as often as men, but this may be due to societal acceptance of women who shed tears over men. In fact, the Latin name for “cry baby,” or someone who tears up frequently, is lachrimist, and can refer to either gender.

 

Crying can be good for you, because it releases oxytocin and endorphins, chemicals that make us feel better. I am not typically a crier, but when I get started, it’s hard to stop. And the littlest things can choke me up, like a Hallmark card commercial, or a sweet animal video, or just some random kid in the neighborhood doing something caring for another kid or (better yet) an adult.

 

Christians have often called this earthly life a “valley of tears.” Even though we believe in a gracious and loving God, and we place our hope in His ability to lift us up from the woes of this present life, we also grieve and feel sorrow and hurt throughout our worldly journey. And although we may often feel like our pain is of no consequence to those around us, not one twinge of discomfort escapes God’s watchful eye. Psalm 121:4 says God “neither sleeps nor slumbers,” but He keeps watch over us at all times. The image in Psalm 56:8 of God caring enough to collect each of sorrow-(and joy-)filled tears in a bottle is of great comfort to me. It reminds me that, though my weeping may not seem productive to me, God values those experiences as much as he does my greatest earthly successes. So go ahead, cry a river! God will still love you!

 

God of Tender Mercies, You treasure my tears enough to preserve them in a heavenly bottle. I am humbled and grateful for Your love and concern. Amen

 

Alone on a Colorado mountain, Meg Corrigan faced the unthinkable, a situation that almost ended her life. Hear the details of her astounding rescue from the hands of a gun-wielding attacker and how she walked off that mountain. Hers is a story of tragedy turned holy, a journey of sorrow and healing, a powerful message of hope in the darkest hour. In her memoir, Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child, Meg credits her resilience to the grace of God. She is also the author of Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist, tales based on her years as a drummer in a Hawaiian show band; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, released this month. Meg is a retired college counselor, author, speaker, trainer and sexual assault survivor. She speaks to churches, civic groups, college students, mental health professionals and law enforcement personnel, as well as youth in juvenile facilities. Corrigan lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota with her husband, Patrick and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. She loves to coax seemingly dead plants out of the soil in her yard. The couple have four daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Contact her at MegCorrigan@comcast.net or www.MegCorrigan.com .

GRAMBULANCE

ambulance “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

Do you have (or had) a grandmother or grandfather to whom you turned for comfort in tough times? I never knew any of my grandparents. But I know many folks who remember at least one grandma or grandpa always being there to listen, to give hugs, to spend undistracted time with them when they were young. In our modern society, grandparents may move to senior housing rather than live with relatives. Families live far and wide today, making daily contact with older relatives impossible. But if you were or are one of the lucky ones, to have frequent contact with elder family members who care about you, you are blessed with a wealth of wisdom and problem-solving ability developed over many years. Although your parents care about you too, they are often caught up in keeping you safe and out of trouble—plus they are usually busy with work or other life activities. Your grandparents can, in many ways, provide you with some of the most honest and accurate information about life that you are able to get—and they love doing that!

 

As a grandmother and a great-grandmother myself, I’ve tried to be that special resource person to my grandkids. In fact, I even coined a word to describe what an active grandparent can be. Grambulance, a combination of the words “gramma” or “grampa” and “ambulance,” describes the special relationships young people have with their older family members. Like an ambulance, a grandparent is often available as soon as you need them. You can call or text them and they can often answer right away. They are filled with “equipment” to help you survive a broken heart or a bad grade or even your parents’ arguments or separation or divorce. Grandparents have seen and heard and done a lot in their lives, and they’ve learned how to handle tough situations. They also shepherded your own parents through some of the same crises you are now encountering; and experience is an excellent teacher. “Grambulances” may not have lights and sirens, but they are a rolling source of emergency measures to help you whenever you need them.

 

Lord, help us to see the wisdom in our older relatives! They love us as You do and are there to help us! 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 .

MY CLAY JAR

Broken Clay JarBut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

My “jar”—my body—is falling apart at the seams! To date, I’ve had eleven joint surgeries, three skin cancer surgeries, and miscellaneous other procedures. I have osteoarthritis in multiple joints, hypertension, low potassium, failing eyesight, my memory is not what it used to be, I need to lose some weight, and for some strange reason, I get depressed sometimes. In short, my body is failing me at an alarming rate! But the one thing that does not seem to be failing is my faith in God! In fact, the more that goes wrong, the more I find I rely on God. I have looked to Him to keep me afloat when I am in pain, or facing one of said surgeries, or feeling older in my body than in my mind. He has lifted me from tiny strength to ever-greater strength and assured me that He is with me at every step. He has provided me with a sound mind that allows me to adapt, each and every time, to what will become my “new normal.” And He’s made it clear to me that I have the capacity to flourish in new and unique ways, even if my body cannot perform as it once did.

 

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul makes it clear that our bodies are frail, but God’s life in us remains powerful. Though we are “hard pressed on every side,” we are “not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed” (v. 8). What joy to know that even when our physical health and even our mental health waxes and wanes, our spiritual health is alive in Christ. In this way, “His life may also be revealed in our mortal body” (v. 11). I delight that I still have faith, this great and precious treasure in my clay jar, so that I may always let the light of Christ shine through me. My human capacity may be limited, but “with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27).

 

How can I show my gratitude, Lord, that You suffered far worse than I can imagine to give me hope for this life and the one to come? Praise Your holy name! 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

SPILLING THE BEANS

Embarrassed-womanWise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the Child who has been born King of the Jews?”…(Herod) sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the Child; and when you have found Him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay Him homage.” Matthew 2:1-2, 8

 

Have you ever inadvertently said or done something that you should not have? As a young adult, it seemed I frequently found myself talking to someone I felt I could trust, only to hear later that what I said had been repeated to my embarrassment. I learned from those experiences to be more careful with sharing what was on my mind! I’ve also committed some of those egregious faux pas like asking a woman with a large belly when her baby is due, only to find out that was not the reason for her sizeable tummy! And I once stubbornly tried get into a car that looked like mine, turning to see a woman giving me an icy stare while holding her cell phone aloft as if to call the police. These little embarrassments may cause us momentary horror, but we can usually recover from them with time and gentle self-talk.

 

Epiphany brings the arrival of the Wise Men. Did these Eastern Kings who came to find the baby Jesus have any clue that King Herod was less than thrilled at their report about the newborn “king of the Jews?” They didn’t realize that their innocent question about how to find the Child Whose star they had followed was about to set off an international incident with fatal repercussions for all the children under two in the area (Matthew 2:16-18). I’m certain these Wise Men meant no harm; they were mesmerized by the Christ Star and what ancient texts had foretold about Him (v. 6). Herod was a cunning and cruel king and he took advantage of the men from the East. He wanted this new Baby out of his life and his kingdom. But God would prevail: Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, and the Wise Men were also warned to leave the area without letting Herod know where the Child was (vs. 12-15).

 

Sovereign Lord, we thank You that Your plans are perfect and evil humans cannot change their course. 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

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

THE HOPE OF ADVENT

SORRY FOR THE DELAY THIS WEEK! I POSTED THE BLOG A DAY LATE!

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

As we approach Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in this year of years, I choose to find hope in the coming of Christ. The earth has suffered a great plaque in the last several months, and while the arrival of the vaccine is hopeful, we are still in the dark winter of this pandemic. We will not see anything resembling our “former normal” for at least several months if not a couple of years.

But we stand in this darkness as a Light is dawning, the Light of the Son of God, born of a virgin on Christmas. His birth is symbolic, yes, to Christians around the globe. But He is more than a symbol. I can attest to the transforming power of Christ in my life, and I believe He can exhibit that much power in the life of anyone who calls on Him to do so. As the saying goes, if you are looking for God, you have already found Him.

Yes, I am sad this year. I will miss playing my drums and singing at our live, in person Christmas Eve services this year. My husband and I have been a part of the music for years, and it will be strange to watch a live-streamed service instead of the “real thing.” But I know that the “real thing” is still there, in my heart, and in the hearts of all who believe that Jesus Christ was born of a woman and lived among humans in order to become a sacrifice for the sins of all of us. It doesn’t matter where or how we celebrate this year. We still need to celebrate.

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer compared Advent to a prison cell “in which one waits and hopes and does various unessential things . . . but is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside.” Let Christ open the door and come in. He is here now. He will be here always. Hallelujah!

Come Lord Jesus, my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations (Luke 2:30). Amen

JUST RELEASED! Saints With Slingshots 2: MORE Daily Devotions For The Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian, Meg Blaine Corrigan’s new book compiled of these blogs. Available on her website, http://www.MegCorrigan.com or at Amazon.com link below:

RESTING GRINCH FACE

grinch1.0A cheerful heart is a good medicine,  but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

 

We’ve all met them. They seem to be everywhere during the Christmas season. Some people just can’t get into the mood for Christ’s birth, no matter what anyone says to them. If you wish them a Merry Christmas, they scowl at you or just turn and walk away. They suck the energy right out of the office Christmas party, and they haunt family gatherings. They won’t tell us what’s bothering them, or what has set them off. They aren’t happy about it being Christmas and they are going to try hard to make the rest of us unhappy too.

 

What do we do about people who spend the entire Advent season wearing a “resting Grinch face?” We can try to console them, engage them in a positive conversation about something, anything! Maybe they have bad memories of Christmas past. I know a woman whose parents were divorced whose only childhood memories of Christmas were about being shuffled from one parent’s home to the other, with little time to enjoy or appreciate either side of the family. Others may associate Christ’s birth with their own feelings of inadequacy or shame or guilt. Grieving for the loss of a loved one, a job, one’s health, or a relationship can add to the holiday blues. Some folks are genuinely turned off by the commercialization of this sacred occasion (count me among them!). And still more people dread being alone on Christmas because there isn’t a single person with whom they can plan to spend the holiday.

 

The “resting Grinch faces” of the world need our understanding and compassion, not our judgement. Holiday blues are different from mental illness, but short-term mental health problems can lead to clinical anxiety and depression. One of the best ways to help people who are unhappy during the Holidays is to include them in our lives and our activities. We may need to remain vigilant and be patient. The season is short, but Christ came not to condemn us but to offer us peace and healing. He would want us to keep that uppermost in our minds.

 

Child of Wonder, You came to us when the world was hurting, just as it is now. Help us spread the light of Your love now and all year long. 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 .

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