Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tis the season!

The Christmas  music has been playing for about a week now.  I tried to resist the urge to listen to it before Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't help myself.  Last night, we ventured out on a cold walk across the street for dinner the lighting of the big tree showing off in the center of the shopping mall.  Lights, music and festivities.  And COLD!!!  After we got home and warmed our toes, we started decorating the house for the holidays.  We are traveling for Thanksgiving, and we won't be here in our home, so I figured it would be alright to have a few  Christmas lights up to welcome us home from Thanksgiving.  We won't cut down our tree until later in December, so we still have that to look forward to. 

The kids love to put the nativity sets up around the house.  We have 5 of them, so someone always gets to set up two (I'm sure they keep track year to year!). This year, Michael set up the "Little People" nativity.  Oh, it was so cute!  He had Mary sitting with the wise men, Joseph with the sheep and Baby Jesus hanging with the shepherds.  I started to put it all "back together" when the thought struck me that I should be so open minded as my 4 year old, rather than putting the picture back the way it is supposed to look, let it look like Michael set it up.  A nativity scene, not about perfection, but about peace and love among everyone.  Who knew decorating for Christmas was going to be so thought provoking?

I have been listening to Sara Groves' Christmas CD over and over - it's my favorite. ( if you don't have it you should go to I-tunes this very minute!).  She has an arrangement of "O Holy Night" that is quite different than the original version, and because of that it has made me listen to the words of the song more than I ever have.  These words have been there all along, but I think that the song is usually sung slow and I'm always waiting for the singer to belt out that last "divine" so I've missed out on these words.

"Surely He taught us to love one another.  His law is love and His gospel is peace"

"In His name all oppression shall cease."

"The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices."

Maybe it's where my thoughts have been settling lately, but these are some pretty amazing words!!  I could use some peace, some oppression to cease, a thrill of hope!  I just love it when something old knocks you on the noggin completely unfamiliar and brand spankin new!!  These are thoughts for some continued pondering.  I think that there is a theme hiding under the Bethleham stars for me... let Christmas be NEW this year.  Let your little boy's perspective on where Jesus belongs at the nativity teach you something NEW this year, Heather.  Hear the words to familiar songs in a NEW way - don't just sing along without noticing the depth of the musical message.  Make NEW memories, have NEW hope in that Baby Jesus, because He's showing me a NEW way while He hangs out with the shepherds this Christmas.