The child-like nostalgia means that Christmas isn't Christmas until I hear the Charlie Brown crowd sing, "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing." Actually, I need the whole glorious cartoon. Yes, I know it is a bit cheesy, graphics are old school, but when Linus wraps his blanket around his head and recites the Christmas story...if there isn't a tear or a small lump in your throat, I think you need to check your pulse.
For me, Christmas Carols teach and tell us much about this mystery of the season. They preach the power and possibility. They invite us into the holiness and awaken the holiness within us.
But Christmas Carols can also just become background music. We don't often let these words sit, simmer, and sing to us. So, here is my invitation to you: let's listen with new ears and open hearts. Over the coming days we are going to circle around Christmas Carols. Each day in Advent (beginning December 3), I will post a reflection about a Christmas Carol with a video.
I want you to listen/watch the Carol once or twice. Not the kind of listening where you put it on play and walk away. The kind of listening where you close your eyes, try to savor and soak in every word. Ask yourself, "What do I hear?" Or which word get stuck in your soul? Or what feelings does the Carol stir? What does this Carol have to say that can help us prepare for Christmas Day?
These Carols are more than a soundtrack for the season, they are more than just soundbites that we can sing along with, these Carols can help lure us toward/leap into one of the most beautiful scandalous stories ever told: God is with us/God is for us. This truth is not just then and there in a barn two thousand years ago. I mean right here and now...where you are...reading this blog. God isn't distant or distracted...out there somewhere beneath the pale blue night (Ten points for anyone who got this quote from An American Tale...yet another cartoon classic). God is here. While I probably say that too much, the point is that I don't think we really live our life with that truth. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle, not only in December. To take time to sit, savor, breathe in these words, and be is what I pray diving into and dwelling in these Carols might bring. Preparation in the days before Christmas has more to do with our hearts than the presents under the tree. So, I invite you on this journey. A journey into music that makes a difference and can make us different. A journey where we can stand in the straw to see God laid away in a manager, while Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, on a Silent Night, Holy Night, for It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. So Come All Ye Faithful to see this great Joy to the World and to our lives this year.
Grace and peace everyone ~~