Children Singing

I tried to think of a favourite childhood Christmas memory that I could share with you, the families and friends of Cedar Grove Childcare, but there were few and somehow so insufficient.  So I asked as many people as I could if they would write something that is getting to their heart this Christmas season, a favourite memory that they would like to share.  There was one who was willing and I’m so grateful because writing these life stories leads to an introspective examination that can be, at least for a short time, painful.  But it would seem that I am not alone, and my willing writer is having as much difficulty writing as I would.  She found just as I had, that the memories are few and well somehow insufficient, inadequate, or even … sad.  How does that make a good Christmas memory story?  

Well I know … I knew before I started asking others to write this for me … it was clear, but I refused.  Better late than never.

You know there was only one childhood memory that I found that was good and I enjoyed … it happened year after year, but it was the same event and the same memory.  It was simply singing along to Christmas music with my brother.  We would be alone at home, singing as loud as we could, acting out the words and music, and all with huge goofy smiles on our faces.  We had temporary moments of joy as we sang and learned about the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ our Savior born on Christmas Day, Holy infant so tender and mild, the one whom kings and nations feared, bowed down to as the one and only sent by God to save us all from Satan’s power when we have gone astray!  We were not Christians, nor did we have any knowledge of Christ other than from this Christmas music that was heard everywhere during the Christmas holidays.  It brought us joy though, we both remember it as good, strengthening and the only hope we had.

Now maybe your childhood Christmas memories were better than this little story, but then again, maybe you know just how messy the Christmas holidays can be … with young and old coming together, with family traditions, stress, fatigue, alcohol, anger, and even violence.  If your Christmases didn’t include these messy parts then I would like to hear all about it; but as insufficient as my little story is I wouldn’t trade the memory, circumstances, or my family of birth for anything.  

I can picture some of you shaking your heads right now and wondering, why would I want to hold onto these memories … well it’s because there is so much more.   So much more hope!  The songs that we sang together, year after year kept me going, holding onto life until I was finally at the point where I was willing to understand more.  That’s right, willing to understand!  Willing to accept that God loved me so much that his intricate plan from the beginning of creation was to send the infant Jesus to save me.  Yes, save me, save you...  Our Savior born on Christmas Day … the peace that Christ was meant to bring … to save us all.  An infant, meek and mild, from greatest to the least, from heaven to the suffering of earth!  Birth, rebirth, again and again, rescue from the sins of the past, rescue from the worthless feeling that has haunted every moment of your life, again … all for me … all for you!!  

I was nearly forty years old before I was willing to understand.  Forty years before I understood enough, and then nearly six more years before I was rescued from the worthless feeling that haunted every day of my life.   Every year that goes by I understand more and continue to be rescued.  

If you have already discovered this then I will rejoice with you this Christmas!  And I pray that you will only go deeper in your understanding.  If you are like my singing brother, and aren’t yet willing to understand, and fully embrace the hope and salvation that God has provided for us all then, I pray, I pray for you like you are my own flesh and blood, that you will find it in Him this Christmas!  Remember the songs, the moments of peace that could only be found in God’s care and the salvation that only Christ can bring.  If you have heard the songs, then you know, you know he’s waiting, don’t hold back any longer.  Smile, lift up your face and be willing … he’s waiting for you …

Now … turn on some music, watch how the ready hearts of children respond, and let’s rejoice together!

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