A gift to me

tonight,  there was a small group of us who went out and sang some christmas carols with/to a couple of our fellow north pointers.   susan is in the midst of her most recent hospital confinement…this one is going on three months and when she can go home is still a mystery.   joan is enduring a long recuperation at home after open-heart surgery.

both are improving.   both are women of deep faith and confidence in the god of bigger pictures.

we all left them inspired and encouraged.   it was short,  but it was real koinonia…the sharing of common life.

here’s what i came away with,  tho.   both susan and joan sang the songs.   i mean they sang the songs.

neither of them have shared life with our church family on sunday mornings in months.   they have missed the joy of seeing familiar faces and joining their voices with family friends to sing of the greatness of god.   they have missed the mutual encouragement that can only found when the body of christ is together.

as they sang,  i could see that their hearts were full.   and when they sang the words,  they believed them.

christmas carols in our culture have been sucked of their meaning.   joy to the world as background music to beer commercials.   o holy night as part of the movie sound tracks for brainless,  sophomoric films.   o come,  o come emmanuel playing over the loudspeakers in malls,  the great temples of holiday opulence.

don’t shoot me,  but i even saw a victoria’s secret commercial,  with models seductively mugging the camera to silent night. unbelievable.

to say that these grand hymns of faith have become nothing more than cliché,  would be an understatement the size of the story of santa claus…

what a confirmation of faith and joy of fellowship i found in simply watching two ladies sing christmas carols from deep within their souls…not because the songs were part of an annual holiday tradition…but because the words of those songs spoke truth to their spirits and confirmed the anchor they are each holding on to:   that the god of power still breathes redeeming grace into impossible situations.

Silent night, holy night

Song of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth


5 thoughts on “A gift to me

  1. very insightful observations. 100% spot on in my opinion. Although, I don’t care to single Christmas songs at church during the holidays (because I feel they are forced and obligatory), the words and true meanings of the songs are wonderful. I wish we would sing the songs randomly throughout the course of the entire year, where the true meaning of the songs and the lyrics can possibly go a little deeper into our hearts.

    thanks for writing this blog.

  2. Note to Mike – I second what Kevin says… why can’t we sing them randomly? I bet sometimes they do fit within some of your sermons…

  3. Mike, your post reminded me of an experience Ellen and I had last Sunday afternoon. Patricia Emmert had a stroke a few weeks back and beyond eye movement and a squeeze of the hand she hasn’t been able to communicate. The Emmert family gathered to go visit her and Ellen and I were invited to go along. (Before your time in HB, I rented a room from the Emmerts, lived there until Ellen and were married…. Patricia became a second mom). Anyway, as we sang Christmas carols….Patricia’s eyes sparkled and she mouthed the words to the carols as we sang. The reaction of the family was interesting to see….a mixture of tears in seeing her so disabled and smiles and laughter because of the the things you shared in your post…..thanks for the insights and sharing. Merry Christmas!

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