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Come Home to Joy

Dear Friends,


I can’t help it, but there are songs that get stuck in your head and they simply won’t go away. Let’s try it…


“Don’t worry…be happy…” sung by Bobby Mc Ferrin


I started listing songs that are often on my mind and then I thought, "Uff dah! Am I giving up my thoughts, age, drama of my youth, good decisions, bad decisions, dance songs, study songs, play songs, funny songs, symphonies, and reflective songs!?!" I typically have a song playing in my head at all times. I once had a co-worker tell me they could tell what was on my mind by the song that I would be whistling when I entered into the building.


Maybe music isn’t your thing; but it surrounds us all the time whether in nature, sporting games, movies, video games, and places we shop. We can simply call out to our cell phone to play a song without so much as raising a finger. Oh, “back in the day,” we all had to listen to the same song on the radio because we were not able to pre-select, delete, or sound out the world with only our very own play list going on. It was a time, long ago, when we used to share music.


I believe that, in sharing music, we are sharing our stories. Sometimes, music gives us the oomph to shout or even dance! Sometimes, music gives us space to share our tears and our fears.


In this week's scripture for our Advent journey, we are going to dig deeper into the idea of being joyful. As we read in the scriptures on joy, we will consider that maybe it isn’t about being joyful as in a moment, but being thankful for a forever love and grace from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Music filled with joyfulness is singing praise not for what we are doing but for the One who has done it. It is God's hardship and the victory over death as a gift of grace. We come to think of joy as our response of gratitude.


Where do you find yourself this 2nd week of Advent? Already counting the remaining shopping days or, for that matter, delivery dates? Is there room in our Advent Season to prepare our hearts with joy? I invite you to pause for a moment and hear this message from Zephaniah 3:17-20.


The Lord, your God, is in your midst,

a warrior who gives victory;

he will rejoice over you with gladness,

he will renew you in his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing

as on a day of festival.

I will remove disaster from you,

so that you will not bear reproach for it.

I will deal with all your oppressors

at that time.

And I will save the lame

and gather the outcast,

and I will change their shame into praise

and renown in all the earth.

At that time I will bring you home,

at the time when I gather you;

for I will make you renowned and praised

among all the peoples of the earth,

when I restore your fortunes

before your eyes, says the Lord.


This week, we share our joy and our treasures of food, paper products, mittens, and pajamas with North Liberty Community Pantry and Closet. These are the most wanted items in December for the pantry:


Soaps and Body Wash

Shampoo and Conditioner

Soups and Stews

Fresh Produce

Canned Fruit

100% Fruit Juices

Tomato Products

Cooking Oils and Spices

Baking Ingredients

Snacks

Feminine Hygiene Products

NEW Socks and Underwear


WYN will be wrapping up toilet paper next Wednesday evening ; we need donations! And don't forget to bring mittens, hats, and pajamas for the tree.


We are thankful for our WYN Teams from Club 56, Confirmation, and High School Youth (and some adult helpers) for assembling furniture for Houses Into Homes and finishing up the outdoor lighting.


Blessings to you always,


Pastor Katie

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