Between getting ready in the morning for the day and getting ready at night for sleep, we live our lives. Much of that time is spent preparing for the hours to come.

But even as we wait for what is going to happen, it is important to stop. To stop and simply be still.

Sometimes being still is the best preparation of all.

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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:4-9

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Listen to the sounds of the season: Silver bells!
Up on the housetop: click, click, click.
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling; ring, ting, tingling too.
Eleven pipers piping.
The cattle are lowing.

Maybe you would add pots rattling in the kitchen as special meals are prepared, or the hiss of the radiator, or even the silence that descends with large snowflakes.

The psalmist mentions lyres, trumpets, and horns as making joyful noises to the Lord. The psalmist even goes so far as to say that the sea, floods, and hills will erupt into joyful praise as the Lord is welcomed to earth. What sound of celebration will you claim as the birth of Christ occurs in you?

Sarah Shelton

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Oh Lord, hear our sounds of praise and receive them as celebration over your coming this Advent. Amen.

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Go now into the midst of busyness and hurry.
But carry with you these moments of still and quiet.

You are better prepared now than you were even moments ago
For the day that lies ahead.

And God has prepared good gifts in the midst of the hours
For you to know and cherish.

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Jackson Shelton is the pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the proud mother of David (24) and Dannelly (19), and the lucky wife of Lloyd.

Glorious Messiah

Jim Morgan

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