Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 6: PJ Piano Practice & A Few Thoughts on Lyrics



The kids started taking piano lessons about six weeks ago, and Chloe has already mastered Jingle Bells, which means I get to hear it about five hundred times a day. Oh, hurray! I never realized how particularly annoying the tune of that song was until I had to hear it pounded out one finger at a time over and over and over. Is that mean? My bad. Jingle bells brings out the worst in me.

On a different note, every night we have been singing Christmas carols with the kids after we do our Advent reading, and I am loving it. Last year when we started doing this, I thought it was going to be tres corny, I'll be honest. We're just not that family that sits in a circle every night holding hands, gazing at one another and singing hymns. It felt weird, and Greg and I had to force ourselves not to look at one another or we'd start laughing. But the kids loved it and started learning the lyrics faster than we could, so it was clear to us that it was a tradition worth maintaining. This year we've focused on "Hark the Herald Angels Sings," "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," and "Silent Night." I've sung all of these songs many times, but this year I realized that I pretty much only knew the first verse of each one. The lyrics that are rarely sung, the dusty old verses at the ends of the songs, are amazing. Here are my favorites from "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem:"

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

Aren't they beautiful? I'm memorizing them - they're such a wonderful prayer. Here's the last verse of Silent Night:

Silent night, holy night, 
wondrous star, lend thy light; 
with the angels let us sing, 
Alleluia to our King; 
Christ the Savior is born, 
Christ the Savior is born!

Am I the only one who never got to this verse before blowing out my candle at the Christmas Eve service and putting on my coat? I love it.

This Christmas season feels busy, busy, busy. I'm trying to slow things down, but I'm failing. So many people want a piece of you at Christmas, and it's hard to say no to good things. I have to take advantage of every small opportunity to sneak in my adoration of God, my gratitude to the One Who loved me so much that He came looking for me, lost as I was.

You know, one of my twins went through this period where he was terrified of getting lost. He needed to be constantly reminded that I would come looking for him. I used to tell him that if he was lost I would line up every kid in the world and go down the line one by one, that I wouldn't stop until I got to him. It brought so much comfort to him, but it's not really true, is it? In his innocence he thought that I would really be able to do that, when the sad reality is that there are parents who lose kids all the time and can't ever find them. But God... He does this. He did that for me, and He wants to do that for you. He relentlessly pursued me, refused to give up on me, and traded His only Son for me. How small the problems of this world become in the light of what God has done for me. He is so worthy of my adoration. So with the angels I will sing Alleluia to my King.


"Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue."
Luke 15:4-7

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again. But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’"
Luke 15:20-24

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