For unto us a child is born...Unto us a son is given...And the government shall be upon His shoulders...And his name will be called - Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
I’m this huge pile of mushy emotions around the holidays and make no apologies for it.
My mother would spend a couple of days putting up a tree and adding special touches to each room around our home. And the smells that would waft from the kitchen were enough to make you eat, repent, repeat.
My father added his own special touches on the holidays with our trips to Disney. We sat on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom one year watching the Wishes holiday fireworks and as the show ended and the lights came back on around the park I looked into his eyes to find tears waiting to spill over. He remarked how special it was for him that we could spend the holiday season together as a family in this special place.
And later...as my brother and I meet for a day or so each holiday season, we make it a tradition to go see the Candlelight Processional and simply remember...
There are two points in the show that bring me to tears. The first is when the chorus of several hundred people on stage start singing Silent Night in French...it truly is the language the song should be sung in. Then after a chorus or two they begin singing it in English & the conductor turns around and invites the crowd to sing along...and I close my eyes and hear almost a thousand voices singing with such sweet emotion...”Silent night...Holy night...all is calm...all is bright...” and I think - how could you ever believe that war could exist on this Earth...and then I’m overtaken with the feelings of peace and love and step back inside my “bubble”. Oh to sleep in “heavenly peace”...
* This is just about one third of the chorus singing...it rocks *
The second part is right after the guest emcee reads Isaiah 9:6 and with great gusto hundreds of voices with immense power begin to sing...King of King...and Lord of Lords...and He shall reign for ever and ever”. And in an act of respect (and I pray reverence) the entire crowd stands and bellows those same words of promise. My heart swells to four times it’s size and my arms can’t help but be raised in act of reverence to this sinners heart's declaration of who He is and of things to come. And if you close your eyes and listen to the almost one thousand voices...you know that surely God hears us on this night from His throne.
* The one's in green are the "professionals", the one's in red
are the Voices of Liberty and that's John O'Hurley, the guest emcee *
As the show ends and the crowds disburse we return to...running over each other with baby strollers and electric wheelchairs, cutting in line and grumbling about the fact that the park is so freakin’ crowded...but oh for those few moments there is indeed peace on Earth and love in the air...but I digress.
It’s from those last two special moments (not the grumbling comments) that my blog is written today. One of my favorite podcasts, the WDW Today show, replicated the Candlelight Processional in story and song. I had not heard it in over a year, but as I played it again this week (several times I might add) all those wonderful memories came flooding back.
I’ve taken liberty with part of the wording they use in the show and wanted to share it with you. To me, the words have the power to tell about the God I serve...
He never wrote a book, never held an office, never had a family or owned a house. He never went to college, never visited “the big city” or traveled more than 200 miles from the place where he was born. He had not done any of the things that one nowadays would associate with “greatness”. He had no credentials but himself. Yet since his death & resurrection nineteen centuries have come and gone...and he has remained the central figure of the human race and the reason for our hope.
All the armies that have ever marched...all the navies that have ever sailed...all the parliaments that have ever sat...and all the kings that have ever reigned - put together - have not effected the life of man on this Earth as much as that one solitary life...and He shall reign for ever and ever...hallelujah!
The holidays can be such a difficult time for so many of us - not being home with family, or being home with family and not wanting to be :) But let not one of us forget the reason we celebrate this season. We serve a living and loving God who desires nothing more than to be in a relationship with each and every one of us...to offer us a hope and a future...on into eternity when He comes back to live among us. REJOICE!!!
I have to take a tradition of Thanksgiving and carry it over to the Christmas season and say how incredibly thankful I am for each one of the relationships, old and new, in my life during this “life-season”. I find a reason each day to laugh at how God moves me inside and out and I am most thankful that there is a place carved in my heart just for Him.
I pray during your holiday season God shows up in the most unexpected ways. I pray your heart is filled with the desire to serve others and to show love abundantly. And I pray health and safety for each of you. Enjoy each moment...Merry Christmas!!!