Advent devotion: Sing joy

News | November 27, 2016

It’s no secret to those who know me that I love to sing. The first thing I did when I moved to Davenport eight years ago was join the St. Paul Chorale. Through that group I got to know the rest of this community, and began making a home here.

Advent is my favorite time of year to sing – there is such a message of hope and joy in the traditional hymns we sing as a congregation and as a choir. And so, every year as the weather gets cooler, I start to update the playlist on my iPod. I try to find a good mix of the old standards, and some newer classics about reindeer and mistletoe, mixing in versions I haven’t heard in awhile with old favorites. ann_birney_easter

One song is always on my iPod – Joy to the World. It has the power to give me hope even in the middle of July. I always have it with me, just in case I need a pick-me-up. Instead of dwelling on a recent loss, some angry words I’ve overheard, or a mistake I’ve made at work, I can start up this song in the car, and sing at the top of my lungs about the joyous news – The Lord is come! Our Savior reigns! These observations are in the present tense – He is here, He reigns!

Taking the time to reflect on those simple statements, I know that I am not alone. My sorrow and anger dissipate as I sing and pray, and I can face whatever obstacle is in my way with the knowledge that Christ is there with me. I take that feeling of hope and strength, and face the rest of my day with a smile and a kind word for those I meet.

I encourage everyone to really listen to the words of the hymns we sing this year, and listen for that message of hope and joy as we anticipate the birth of our Savior.

Ann Birney loves to knit and works at United Healthcare. She and Kyle live outside of DeWitt, Iowa, with their cats, Thelma and Elmer.

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