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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas To All....

Wow.  It's been a month.  A month since I have blogged.

It has not been a month since I discovered new music, there have not been concerts that I have been to and not written about, there have not been moments in my life where dreams and music (really - the same thing) have impacted me immensely.  But - it has been a month since I have blogged. 

The holiday season is one that is always extremely overwhelming for me.  The additional social commitments, the additional church services, the additional errands, the additional everything.  It is just exhausting.  I did add a little to my own issues this year - as I just returned from a nine day vacation.  While it was much needed, it added to the stress.  But that's okay.

So....  What am I babbling about here?  For me - it boils down to Christmas Eve.  While I still have family commitments and travel for holidays ahead, while New Years Eve is still coming, while Christmas itself isn't even here yet - tonight is the culmination for me.  The peak.  My strongest Christmas memories are really focused around Christmas Eve.  Around our family traditions, the church services, the music, and more.

For those that are actively involved in their church (and I mean ACTIVELY - i.e. sometimes way too involved), you know how exhausting Christmas Eve is.  It is a night where you have too much to do, too little time, and it is amazing.  The Eve of the celebration of Christ's birth is a night where we can focus on the reason for this season.  A time to remember that Christmas isn't about physical gifts - it is about the greatest gift of all time.  A gift that none of us deserve, that none of us can earn - the gift of Christ and the salvation that He brought.  Okay - done with my religious thoughts - I know that's not what you come here to read.

Tonight, for me, was as exhausting as ever.  I got wayyyy less sleep than I needed, worked longer than I expected, and got to church with lots to do.  I missed several practices for this service, as I was out of town - so I was a bit behind.  I had to practice my baritone, we had bell rehearsal, choir rehearsal, and there were several pieces for each that I had not tried before.  And then all the usual running around - prepping the sanctuary, making sure gifts are ready for friends, and lots of odds and ends.  By the time service hit, I was about to drop from exhaustion.

But then I felt the energy.

The energy of the congregation - the excitement, the joy, the bliss.  While I was busy for most of the service, we got to my favorite part.  Silent Night/Night of Silence sung with candlelight.  Beautiful.  I actually choked up at one point.  The point when the moment truly hit me, when I remembered the reason we were there, when I felt the happiness that flowed around everyone.

So while I am completely wiped out, while I am barely able to keep my eyes open, while I am still stressed out about how much is in front of us - I am also completely content.  Tonight is a magical night.

I hope that all of you experience the same.  I hope that you have a magical holiday season - no matter how you celebrate.

And, of course, I found more awesome music.  Some amazing Christmas music.  And there is a song that I wanted to share with all of you.

"Christmas at Home" by Tyrone Wells.  A beautiful song that captures much of the feeling that can be found during this time of the year.  I hope you enjoy!

A reading from the Gospel of Luke

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 Merry Christmas to All - and to All - a good night!!!

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas - what a wonderful reflection on a very special time of year.


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