Advent devotion: The sound of light

News | December 18, 2017

As a 13-year-old, my holiday season consists of band and choir concerts, gift shopping, decorating, keeping the cats out of the Christmas tree, holiday movie nights, and a holiday school spirit week. And this year, to add to the list I took on the part of an orphan in Quad City Music Guild’s production of Annie. Along with all this craziness comes end-of-the-semester projects and schoolwork. 

Impersonating a circus monkey, I attempt to balance all of these various activities and plans. As you may have guessed, I sometimes forget what the season of Advent is really about. And even though these activities may add to the joy of the season, they inflict stress onto the tiny person that is me. Sometimes it even feels like running in the dark.

Every morning I leave my house to catch the school bus at 6:35 a.m. – in the actual darkness. I am literally looking for light. Recently, when I have turned on my music for the bus ride to school to hear Pentatonix singing Mary Did You Know, or God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I have started to think about the little baby born in the manger on Christmas Day. Sound breaking the silence is my light in the darkness. Hearing this music through the busyness has given me a pleasant reminder to slow down and remember what the holiday season is really about. Writing this devotion. with George Winston’s December album playing in the background, gave me another chance to slow down and remember the true light of the holiday season.

Music always gives me a chance to reflect. Silent Night, a great song and story about the baby born on the quietest of nights, is a calm song that reflects the simplicity of the setting described in the Bible. And hearing O Come All Ye Faithful over the noise of the junior high bus reminds me of the angels singing in a wonderful chorus as Jesus was born that quiet night. They were the sound in the silence. Hearing holiday songs on the radio gives me an excuse to slow down and sing along with Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey even when I’m stressing about my paper due Friday. And even when my cat tries to eat the baby Jesus from our creche and knock down the Christmas tree, the music helps me to focus on the truth of the holiday season.

Leah Mendelin is a seventh-grader at Pleasant Valley Junior High. She enjoys writing, singing, theater, and art.

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One comment on “Advent devotion: The sound of light”

  • Anna Mendelin

    December 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks Leah. Here in the north country it’s so dark at this time of year. Your concept of music, both sacred and secular, bringing a sense of peace and light is right on.

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