Christmas is near and anticipation abounds. The holiday season brings with it festive songs heard on the radio, TV, in department stores and elevators. Music has a tendency to remind us of life experiences albeit happy, sad or even funny. As I began thinking about Christmas this year, I am reminded how blessed and fortunate my family has been.
My husband, Jim, and I are from St. Louis, MO and most of our family still lives there today. At Christmas, we have always made it a point to go back “home”. My family has been transferred 5 times over the last 15 years in pursuit of Jim’s professional career. As it turns out, we lived on the East Coast for 10 of the those years. When living on the coast, we had to get motivated to tackle that “dreaded 14 hour drive home” to St. Louis every year, usually atleast twice.
Our family tradition has been to attend the Christmas Eve service at my home town church. Each year, my parents remind me of the time (not so long ago 🙂 that I told them, “I hope they play that ‘The Stone was Rolled Away’ song at church tonight.” There was a pause, my parents looked at each other, and then my mom says, “Julie, The stone was rolled away from ___.” Then I replied “Oh yeah, whoops. The tomb… wrong holiday!” The story never gets old for them and makes all of us laugh every time.
As we all know, family is a critically important part of any holiday season and of life in general. We can all celebrate our earthly family, church family and God’s Eternal Family. What makes Christmas so special is the inspiration, aspiration, joy, hope, and love manifested in the birth of Jesus.
During a church service a few years ago at PCB, a song was played that came to mind as I was writing this piece. That day it moved me during the service and I hope you enjoy it as well:
Give to My Eyes, Lord
Give to my eyes, Lord, the blessing of seeing your face
In all around me, the light of your glorious grace
Give to my hands, Lord, the blessing of doing your will
Bringing your touch where it’s needed to soothe every ill.
Give to my feet, Lord, the blessing of walking your way,
Going wherever you lead me throughout the whole day.
Give to my heart, Lord, the grace to rejoice in your love,
Showing forgiveness and mercy and grace from above
Jesus, Lord, take me, I offer my whole life to you
And by my service I’ll show that I’m faithful and true…
I wish you joy and peace throughout this Christmas season. I hope you have many fond memories of years past and will make many more in the years to come.
Deacon, Parish #13