Making a joyful noise!
By Cheryl McCloud
"The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy!" -- Psalm 16:5
It's my favorite time of year. Of course, it's also a bit busy, a little chaotic and a lot stressful as I add holiday-related activities to an already full schedule.
I pour through recipe books to see if there's something new that sounds good enough to add to the regulars that are requested ... hm, make that demanded.
I ask creative folks for decorating ideas and make plans with others to find the best, most-fragrant tree.
CDs with all kinds of Christmas music are pulled out (yes, I still use CDs!) and calendars are compared to schedule times to get together with friends and family.
It's the season for family, friends and food. There's plenty of joy and laughter as we gather together and yup, there's plenty of noise.
"Shout praises to the Lord, everyone on this earth. Be joyful and sing as you come in to worship the Lord!" -- Psalm 100:1-2.
Noise and food seem to be a common theme when people get together. I can just imagine the shepherds in the field that night more than 2,000 years ago. The angelic choir, the star in the sky. The shepherds must have been shouting in awe – once they got past that “do not be afraid” part -- over the birth of Jesus. Can you see them pounding each other on the back, running back to camp, screaming to wake up any who were sleeping and missing what was going on?
For days, months and even years afterward, can’t you just see them repeating the story of what they saw that night? Every family gathering and special occasion, the story would be repeated for each new generation to hear.
Every family has those stories that are pulled out regularly, usually over meals when we gather together. Some make us laugh, some make us groan with remembered pain.
We still talk about when our car broke down at night – while traveling with a baby. The only available hotel nearby was in Edgewater; it only took cash and had a sign in the bathroom saying “Please do not clean fish in sink.”
This is the season to make joyful noises, to share stories over food and drink as we remember the greatest gift ever given by our Father and creator.
Have you noticed how many verses there are in the Bible where Jesus was “at the table”? In Luke 22:30, Jesus promises us that we will “… eat and drink at my table in my kingdom…”
Can you imagine the stories to be shared? The stories we’ll hear? I’m sure there will be plenty of noise, too! So may this season be filled with joy as you gather around the table!