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God Is With You: An Advent Meditation for Musicians

"Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel." – Isaiah 7:14


Immanuel. "God is with us."


God is with you as you get everything together for rehearsal moments after having finished a rushed dinner of leftovers half heated up because there was no time for anything else after work. He knows what it's like to eat an unsatisfying meal.


God is with you as you wonder how you've misplaced your folder for the third time, searching through multiple identical black folders in the corner. He knows where it is, hoping to nudge you if you remember to be aware of His presence for the slightest moment.


God is with you as you triumphantly find the correct folder, rejoicing with you. He is with you as you tie your shoes and zip your coat up, ready to trek across town for practice. The cold nips at your face as you look up to the stars, and it's as if He's under the stars with the apostles again. He transcends time; and He is with you.


God is with you as you greet the people who sit near you; and it strikes you that with each "hello" you say, you're saying "hello" to the face of Christ.


God is with you as you go through warmup exercises, your body and mind tired from the day. He is with you as you try to be in the present moment, and not wishing you were in bed already. He understands exhaustion intimately.


God is with you while the director rehearses every section in the group except for yours, as you wonder impatiently why the director didn't just tell your section they could come a half hour late. He meets you in your impatience with His patience.


God is with you when you finally get to your favorite piece on the program, the carol you enjoy the most. He cherishes this moment with you, delighting in the music your body is producing. He thought of this moment when He thought of you.


God is with you during the ten minute rehearsal break in the middle as you stretch and chat with your neighbors. He is with you when one begins to gossip about the director, and He beams with pride when you choose not to join in, though you're sorely tempted to.


God is with you when break is over and the director decides to do a program run-through, much to your dismay. He is with you when you feel you've been stretched to your limits between the exhaustion of the day's work and this rehearsal. He knowns what it is to be stretched.


God is with you at the end of rehearsal, when you look around as you put your coat on and know that when all's said and done, you're grateful to be in this group. But most importantly, you're grateful for the ability to praise God through the gift of music. God is with you, and He receives your gift.


God is with you as you drive home, Christmas carols playing on the radio to keep you alert as you drive through the snow. He enjoys these peaceful moments with you, and He is present to you.


God is with you as you crash into bed, exhausted and ready for the Christmas season to be over, yet holding gratitude for the gift of music tight to your heart. God watches over you as you sleep, and prepares your heart for the next day ahead.


God is with you.


Immanuel.

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