Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Every year I love Christmas.  I love the traditions and the decorating (red! red! red!).  I love the music and the food (fudge! fudge! fudge!).  I love Christmas cards in the mail and the gifts.  It makes me happy to wrap up my best ideas and cross my fingers that the recipient will know that I love them.  That I get them.  Sometimes I miss and the gifts aren't as good as I hoped.  But sometimes they are and I love that!

Every year Christmas hits me all at once too.  Not all the glorious trimmings and trappings, but the glorious reason why.

This year, it was at the high school choir concert of all places.  (In Washington, it was always a "Winter Concert."  Here, it is unapologetically a Christmas concert.

The finale of the concert had the orchestra playing an awesome arrangement of I Heard The Bells and Mr. Shelley, the drama teacher performing a monologue about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing the song.  (It was the same arrangement The Mormon Tabernacle Choir did several years ago.  They got permission from Mack Wilberg to use the arrangement.)  And then the A Capella choir (Emma's choir) came rushing down the aisles and sang I Heard the Bells.

Oh my goodness.  It all hit me (ugly crying ensued).

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing, singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Longfellow was in the throes of tragedy at the writing of the song.  Only when he realized God is not dead, nor doth he sleep, was he able to feel hope and peace.

That's the why behind all the Christmas razzmatazz.  

The scripture I'm ponderizing this week is Isaiah 41:10:
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
It seemed perfect for the week of Christmas.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday.  


Geri Davis said...

Pleasant Grove's rendition of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" was so powerful I also felt the message of Christmas as they performed. If you haven't seen the Tabernacle Choir's presentation here is the address, but Mr. Shelly (the Drama teacher) did a better job.
Merry Christmas

Olivia Cobian said...

Beautiful post, Thelma. I too am so grateful for the WHY of Christmas. Thank you!


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