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Connecting Through Song

by Erin Eidenshink

The United Methodist Chingle Te church office and sanctuary in Mongolia is currently housed in two traditional gers, or tents. Photo courtesy the Korean Community Church of New Jersey, United Methodist
The United Methodist Chingle Te church office and sanctuary in Mongolia is currently housed in two traditional gers, or tents. Photo courtesy the Korean Community Church of New Jersey, United Methodist
Image by: New World Outlook
These kindergarten children pray intently with eyes squeezed shut and hands together.
Mongolian kindergarten children pray intently.
Image by: Sun Lae Kim
Source: Mission Personnel

Third Sunday in Advent

The Third in a Series of Advent Devotions from Young Adults in Mission

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--shout for joy before the Lord, the King." (Psalm 98:4-6, NIV)

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!' Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes." (Isaiah 52:7-8, NIV)

Standing in a ger (a white rounded dwelling tent) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, there was much about my surroundings in that moment that pointed to the fact that a little over a week prior I had literally moved to the other side of the world.

The dwelling's orange, circular skeleton was draped with layers of fabric for insulation and protection from the cold. A large furnace sat in the middle of the tent-like structure. There were sounds of Mongolian being spoken all around me, by a congregation full of people I did not yet know.

But as the music began and worship filled the ger, it was the strains of "Blessed Be Your Name" that surrounded me. It was familiar when all else was unfamiliar.

Advent is a season of preparation, anticipation, and rejoicing in how the birth of Christ changes everything. It is a time of longing and a time of recognizing and lifting up the goodness of the gift that is to come.

Psalm 98 calls upon God's people to sing. It provides us with an invitation to join in the earth's joyful praise of our Lord. As I stood and worshiped in Mongolia on that Sunday morning, the words of the song and the context in which I sang were different, but the rhythm was the same.

The same is true of the song we are to sing to God. Our stories and experiences are different. Each of us finds ourselves in a different moment of life during this Advent season. Yet all of us are called to live by the rhythm of the Holy Spirit--the song of salvation, of redemption, of grace.

It is the song of a people who spend the Christmas season distinctly and uniquely aware of who God is and what God has given us in sending a babe into the manger to be our Savior.

And we are called, not just to sing, to dance, and to shout, but to proclaim.

To become watchmen and women of the coming Kingdom, our praises and songs forming an unending shout throughout the earth--that is the call of Scripture in Isaiah 52:7-8, the call of Advent, the call of Christmas.

We are a people of the risen King, who can live in the knowledge and hope of salvation. We are a people of diversity, of a multitude of languages and dwelling places, and of a shared song. We are a people called to find within ourselves the rhythm of our Creator--that in turn we might rediscover what it means to join in creation's song of celebration and praise.

We are a people called to fill Advent with song.

It is a song that transcends words. It is a song that fills our hearts and pulls the Divine further into our midst. It is a song that allows each of us to keep watch, joining our brothers and sisters around the world in lifting up our hearts.

May we praise you on this day, O Lord, for you have bound us together in our call to sing, to shout and to proclaim.

May our hearts be filled with the song and rhythm that each of us shares when we come to know and experience your love.

May our hearts, our lives, our words and our actions sing of who you are as God.

May we sing of the good news of the birth of Christ and your love for us in such a gift.

May our song ever serve as an invitation for others to join with us in the singing.

May our song be a reflection of you, that all glory and honor would be yours, forever and ever.

Erin Eidenshink is a Mission Intern currently serving in Mongolia from 2009 through 2012.

Advent candles Resources for Advent and Christmas
Advent, the beginning of the church year, starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is a time of preparation, anticipation, and hope.

See Also...
Topic: Advent Christmas Global connections Music
Geographic Region: Mongolia
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Mongolia   

Date posted: Dec 08, 2009