Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Must Be Something More

We had an absolutely beautiful Christmas program at church today. Jamie Page sang a song called "Mary's Lullaby". I was expecting the primary version but it was a different one that I had never heard before. It took my breath away. There was a line in it where Mary says to baby Jesus "You are a king but tonight you are mine". Gave me chills (and of course I cried)
Jeanette Marble and Camden Fordham played The First Noel on a violin and the cello and it was beautiful. Just the perfect program and the words that Bishop Kindard spoke about how Christmas is all about hope. Hope that things will get better- well it's what Christmas is all about. Hope that a small baby would become the man who would save us.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.

I am certainly guilty of forgetting what Christmas is all about. This is one of my favorite poems of all time about Christmas and the meaning.

The Stranger

At Christmas time there was a Man who looked so out of place,
As people rushed about Him at a hurried sort of pace.

He stared at all
the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere,
The shopping center Santa Claus, with children gathered near.

The Mall was packed with shoppers who were going to and fro,
Some with smiles and some with frowns and some too tired to go.

They rested on the benches or they hurried on their way,
To fight the crowd for purchases to carry home that day.

The music from a stereo was playing loud and clear,
Of Santa Claus and snowmen and a funny-nosed reindeer.

He heard the people talk abou
t the good times on the way,
Of parties, fun and food galore and gifts exchanged that day.

"I'd like to know what's going on," the man was heard to say.
"There seems to be some sort of celebration on the way.

And would you tell me who this is all dressed in red and white?
And why are the children
asking him about a special night?"

The answer came in disbelief, "I can't believe my ear!
I can't believe you do not know that Christmas time is here.

The time when Santa com
es around with gifts for girls and boys.
When they're asleep on Christmas Eve, he brings them lots of toys.

The ma
n you see in red and white is Santa Claus, so sly,
The children love his joyful laugh and twinkle in his eye.

His gift-packed sleigh is pulled along by very small reindeer,
As he flies quickl
y through the air, while going here and there.

The children learn of Santa Claus while they are still quite small,
When Christmas comes he is the most important one of all."

He held His head in shame, He closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief; He did not understand.

A shadow crossed His stricken face, His voice was low but clear
"After all these years they still don't know." And Jesus shed a tear.

I hope we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas.
What if ribbons and bows didn't mean a thing?
Would the song still survive without 5 golden rings?
Would you still want to kiss without mistletoe?
What would happen if God never let it snow?
What would happen if Christmas carols told a lie?
What would you find?
What if angels did not pay a
ttention to all of the things that we wish they would always do?
What if happiness came in a cardboard box?
I would think there was something we all forgot.
What would happen if presents all went away?
What would you find?
You'd see that today h
olds something special. Something holy. Not superficial.
So here's to Jesus Christ who saved our lives.
It's something we all try to i
gnore. And put a wreath up on our door. But here is something you should know that is for sure....Christmas must be something more.
And besides...who really likes Santa anyway?

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