Last night, we were treated to perhaps the Advent season's finest offering: Lessons and Carols.
Our whole family went, of course, and the Big Three were greeters. Their job was to smile, look pretty, and hand out the programs. They did it very well!
Lessons and Carols, for those of you who have not had the blessing of experiencing it, is an Advent worship service which incorporates Scriptural readings beginning in Genesis, with the story of the fall of man, coursing through Isaiah's prophesies, the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke and ending with the beginning of the Gospel of John. In between the readings are various carols and the like, with most of them being performed by the choir, but the people joining in here and there. Kings College in England is the most famous for such a performance, with a rich history. Our own Diocesan Choir doesn't do too badly, either.
It was a wonderful experience to be sitting in the audience for the first time in years. (I'm on leave from the choir this semester because of the Bug, for Pete's sake.) I was able to meditate on the readings for a change, and to listen attentively to the music--some of it familiar, and some of it not.
The Gospel reading for yesterday was from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, vs. 26-38 . It never escapes me how quick Mary was to say her fiat to God, to trust His will even though it was such a huge unknown for her. Her example of obedience is truly one from which I pray daily to learn, and to which I aspire to attain. I have asked My Darling to pray for his wife to have a more obedient spirit and the humility and grace needed to accompany such a gift.
This same Gospel reading was repeated for us again at Lessons and Carols, and then again (however more abbreviated) in the Rosary last night (the Joyful Mysteries were prescribed for the day). It really seemed to me that God was again nudging my heart to more fully hear His words to me--words which were first spoken by our dear pastor, homilized by our dear bishop, read by a dear friend, sung of twice (both by the cathedral and the diocesan choirs), and then repeated by the first of the Joyful Mysteries.
Daily I find myself wondering how many times I have to repeat (fill in the blank here with whatever directive you can imagine for my kids--make your bed, brush your teeth, put away your laundry, do your math...). Why should I imagine that such a loving Father would not also repeat to the heart of His daughter that which He intends for me to hear?
At any rate, consider it heard. Consider it meditated upon. Consider me likely still needing reminders...regularly!
And in the mean time, I pray that the heart of this beautiful little child would be moved to obedience also. So far, she's doing alright.