I think Christmas time in America is ironic. (It's ironic in Japan, too, but that's another story entirely...) In a day and age when it's not "PC" to be a Christian, when nativity scenes on government property are banned, and shop employees are instructed to use the innocuous "Happy Holidays," there is one strongly Christian part of Christmas that seems to have escaped the religious police...Christmas music. I was at the mall last Sunday for a final foray into the madness, and all the stores had "O Holy Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" mixed in with "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Baby."
Christmas music is possibly my favorite piece of the puzzle that makes up this most wonderful time of the year. The season doesn't truly feel like Christmas until my favorite CD, "An Evening in December," gets dug out of storage and put into a CD player. But...I'm also guilty of being mindless about the gems that are Christmas carols. It's so easy to get caught up in Christmassy feelings when singing in church or at home, that I forget to listen to the familiar words coming out of my ownmouth.
Hark! The herald angels sing!
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth & Mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
What marvelous words! What a marvelous truth! Christmas time has been all about marveling ever since the beginning. Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the magi, Anna and Simeon were the first to marvel at this gift, Immanuel, God with us. This Christmas, I too am marveling at God with us...God and sinners reconciled.