I go through phases of loving Christmas, and disliking Christmas. My inner Scrooge usually pokes his head out when I'm waiting in an incredibly long line at the mall. Knowing that I'm going to have to brush 5 inches of snow off my car when I finally get through the line doesn't help put me in a better mood either! One thing I do like about Christmas though is Christmas carols. I bet you probably never thought Christmas carols and lines in the mall could go together. I'll never forget the time Marci and I were standing in line at the Superstore....
It was several years ago while she was still in college and I was on staff at FaithWay. I can't remember why we had to go to the Superstore. I think we were buying some food for a Christmas party of some sort. I only had to pick up one or two things, but the line-ups were HUGE. And when I say huge I mean the kind of lines where every person has a cart piled a mile high and you KNOW it's going to be a good half hour (minimum) wait just to get to the cash!!!!!! People were stressed. You could feel the tension in the air as people waited.... and waited.... and waited. Marci and I were talking, and then we started singing to the carols that were playing over the speakers in the store. She sang melody and I harmonized. We sang quietly, but a lady nearby commented on how lovely we sounded. That made us a little braver and we sang a little louder. People were staring at us. I'm sure they thought we were crazy, but they seemed to enjoy listening. I remember a small child smiling at us. I also remember a man saying we sounded really good and should charge people money to listen to us :). Sounded like a good idea to me :).
I haven't forgotten that experience, because as we sang the atmosphere around us relaxed. You could literally feel people becoming calmer. Christmas carols are beautiful because so many of them speak of our Saviour. I don't remember all the songs we sang, but I do remember singing them and thinking I could actually mean the words because I knew what they were talking about. I wonder how many people sing Silent Night, Holy Night, without even a thought of that miraculous virgin birth? How many sing Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, with no idea that the heavenly host was announcing the birth of our very Saviour? How many have no clue that O Come All Ye Faithful is proclaiming adoration to the One who would give His life to redeem mankind? I wonder if people ever stop to think about what the words of Christmas carols really mean?
The other night at the symphony concert we sang The First Noel. The final verse was one that I don't remember hearing before. Apparently I've sung it at some point because I just looked it up in my hymn book and it's there :P. The lyrics of this verse touched my heart deeply. I know what they mean. I understand them. But, as I sat there singing with nearly 1,000 other people I wondered how many others could be touched by those words the same way I was?
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with His blood mankind hath bought! (I just have to say AMEN on this line!!!! That is GOOD stuff).
Noel, noel, noel, noel! Born is the King of Israel.
I am so thankful that Jesus came to earth and shed His blood to pay the price for MY sin.