Today we went to the memorial service for my Dad's employee and friend who died of cancer recently. It was sad, but it was filled with hope too, because Allyn was such a committed believer in Christ. The service was a nice one. The family talked about Allyn's work during the service, and about my Dad being such a great boss. I felt so proud of my Daddy, who is the best employer ever. And the best Dad ever.
Church this morning was weird. The message was good, but it was strange to not be in the choir loft at Hamilton, with FavoriteBoy at the organ console. And I missed the lighting of the Advent candle! Instead of Handel and hymns and carols, this morning I sang rockin' out versions of carols... very weird. And they haven't asked me to play violin in this year's Christmas Eve services, which makes the first time in I don't know, four or five years I think, that I won't be playing. Even though the music at church isn't my style, I still feel kind of sad to not be involved this year.
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 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. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. 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 together; yea, 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.
These verses remind me of Zechariah 9:9-10... maybe because I've been listening to Handel's Messiah today!
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Isn't Advent wonderful? This evening I listened to Rejoice Greatly from the Messiah as my brother Christopher and I drove home to fix dinner for the rest of the family. It's one of my favorite arias from the Messiah... you should all go listen to it!