“I’m singing! I’m in a store and I’m siiiiiingiiiiing!”

DSC_0018O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

 

I’ve been a bit of a Grinch about Christmas music this year. While I usually embrace the “All Christmas ’til Christmas” mania of one of our local radio stations, this year I couldn’t handle it. And Christmas music before Thanksgiving? Nuh uh. Not happening in my house. It wasn’t just the overplayed “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” or the many annoying, I-can’t-this-out-of-my-head-and-I-might-gouge-out-an-eye songs. It’s not that some songs, like “Blue Christmas,” or “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” seem to taunt me with bad memories of the Christmas season we spent in and out of the hospital with my mom. More than any of those things, it’s the absence of any real meaning in those songs that is really bothering me this year.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

This Advent season, I’ve been noticing the humility and humanity of Jesus. Reading through the familiar chapters in Luke, it really hit me how humiliating and somewhat ridiculous it is that God Himself was born in a smelly stable. The One who was there in the beginning, partaker in creation, became a helpless, dependent baby.

He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

During the month of December, I try to post Christmas hymn lyrics to Facebook each day. I do this to remind myself and my few hundred “friends” of the expectant hope of Advent. These songs are so rich with truth and meaning. They have become some of my favorite songs, and it’s a shame that we really only get to enjoy them at Christmas time.

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

I hope your Advent has been rich with the amazing truth of the gospel. I hope your Christmas is filled with the abundance of God’s greatest gift to all of us. I hope your new year is full of hope and peace.

Keely Steger