"Don't do things blindly. Know why you do the things you do. Know why you celebrate and do the traditions that you do each year at Christmas. Find out the history. Do some research and decide for yourself what traditions you want to have be apart of your life."
Those were the words Pastor Joel spoke to the youth a little over two weeks ago and I just couldn't get them out of my mind.
Some of you know my history. If your life was anything like mine you know there was so much that we were blind to. There were so many things we couldn't research. So many things we were led in and taught to believe that wasn't true. Control. Mind control. Thought control. Action control. Behavior control. The controls are endless. So many decisions made on our behalf and many without our consent. Blind.
Christmas traditions in our home:
- Cutting down the tree
- Hanging a wreath
- Candy Canes
- Cut-Out Cookies
- Christmas Eve service
- Pajamas to open Christmas Eve
- Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast
- Luke 2
- Christmas Eve Service
- Joy to the World
- Oh Holy Night
- Come Let Us Adore Him
The words to the songs we would sign at the service were put in print and handed out so people could sing along. The dimmed lighting made it difficult for some to see the words in print. Many if not all in attendance knew all the words to the songs, so their efforts to join in were not a strain because they had sung these songs time and time again, year after year.
I was determined to see the words in print because I wanted to join in.
I wanted to proclaim the words I was about to sing.
As I sang the words I took them to heart. They penetrated my heart, body, and soul.
I sang with tears streaming down my face.
Freedom to choose.
Freedom to sing.
Freedom to speak.
I have chosen to live my life out of:
Immanuel. God with us.
Days after that service I pondered each verse in my heart.
I wondered did others really stand on the words they were signing?
I wondered did others sign these songs blindly?
I wondered did they really believe what they were signing?
As the faces of those who held my hand and journeyed with me and spoke truth into my life danced in my head, I knew without a shadow of a doubt they knew exactly what they were singing!
the faces that dance in my head today that still don't know what to believe.
the fingers that type me emails each week.
the ears that listen to the radio program every two weeks.
the voices I talk to each month on the phone.
This Christmas ponder these words:
Joy To The World
Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room...
This Christmas I pray your heart prepares room for Him the King of ALL Kings, Jesus.
This Christmas receive Him as your Savior, your Lord, your Truth, your source of life.
Remember when you feel alone you are not alone if you have prepared room for Him in your heart.
Oh Holy Night
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Til He appeared and the soul felt it's worth.. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices... Fall on your knees... And in His Name, all oppression shall cease...Let all within us praise his holy name Chris is the Lord!
This Christmas I pray your soul knows your worth and that the sin and error of your life will discover the Mercy that will appear before you. That the thrill of hope will have you fall at your knees and in that moment you will lay all weariness, oppression, and sin at the feet of Jesus and you will know that all such things shall cease. This Christmas I pray that your soul will now rise and praise his holy name and shout in freedom Christ is Lord because you have laid it all down before Him.
Come Let Us Adore Him
...Oh come, let us adore Him...
This Christmas I pray that we will sing together in One spirit across state lines and countries afar,
Come, Let Us Adore Him! Because "in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season has brought light" into your life and mine.