For the Love of Christmas

I love the Christmas season!

I love driving around with my girls and exclaiming at the
lights. I love baking (and eating!)
Christmas cookies. I love the colors,
the smells (thank you Yankee Candle for somehow capturing so many) and the
anticipation that comes with this time of year.
I love the homemade Christmas ornaments that hang on our tree (one of
three we put up!). I love snowmen,
Santas and nutcrackers. People seem kinder, more hopeful, more connected, more
willing to believe that there is something beyond today, beyond ourselves. It is a magical time of year, but of course
we believers know it is not magic at all, but Christ.

I think I could list 100 more things that I love about this
time of year, but the thing I probably love most about the Christmas season is
the music. Although by the twenty-fifth
I may want to gouge my eyes out if I have to listen to Santa Baby one more time
I never tire of the carols. And not just
because of the inherent beauty of the music, although that certainly plays a
part. I have come to find so much truth
and depth in the classic Christmas carols that they help me worship in a way that
brings me to a deep place of understanding of my Lord’s heart, character and
will.

My favorite – O Come
All Ye Faithful
is a check for me.
When I sing it it causes me to ask myself if I am worshiping God with my
life, with everything that I am. This is
what adoration would look like.

O come, let us adore
Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Another one that is sung in possibly every Christmas special
ever made – Silent Night – reminds
me of the wonder and beauty of Christ’s birth and I marvel at this piece of
God’s perfect and ageless plan.

Silent night, holy
night, all is calm, all is bright, Round yon virgin mother and Child. Holy Infant so tender and mild.

One I love that is slightly less well known – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – reminds me to hope and rest in
God’s power and sovereignty in the midst of sorrow, pain and suffering which
seem in no short supply these days.

And in despair I bowed
my head: “there is no peace on earth, “I said, “for hate is strong and mocks the
song of peace on earth God will to men. Yet
pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead nor does He sleep; the wrong
shall fail the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”

A lesser known verse in another long time favorite, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, has really resonated
with me this year and I find myself earnestly praying it every time I sing.

O come, desire of
nations, bind all people in one heart and mind, bid envy, strife and quarrels cease,
Fill all the world with heaven’s peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come
to thee, O Israel.

And the perennial favorite Joy to the World! is one that fills me with the astounding hope and
of course JOY that comes from serving a God who loves this world so deeply that
his perfect plan means he waits for us to choose the savior who came to us as a
poor man’s baby, but whose kingship cannot be denied and whose power breaks
that of the evil in this world.

No more let sins and
sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow
far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse
is found.

So yes, the tinsel and the trappings of the season are fun
and I enjoy them as much as, or probably more than the next girl, but I love
how much the music of Christmas brings me close to the heart of God and the redemption
story which is His love for the lost, his power to save us and His presence then,
now and always.

Happy advent and Merry Christmas!

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