O Holy Night

Ah, Christmas carols!  I love them.  Many of us can sing these songs from memory, memories that go as far back as kindergarten or first grade! I sang them for years and they always make me feel happy.  I remember going caroling and singing in kids choir up in the loft of St. Joseph’s Catholic church.  Great memories.

“O Holy Night,” is my favorite Christmas song and this is the most beautiful rendition (above) I have ever heard.  I am in awe of God’s love for mankind and His desire to  be with us once again, as it was before the Fall, most arduously, that He should suffer and bear the sins of this world even unto death.  He loves you THAT much.

It’s easy to lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas with hectic schedules, parties and shopping.  As I grow older and crave time to slow down I have been paying more and more attention to the Christmas songs I have sung for years. A year or two ago the words of “Little Drummer Boy” spoke to my heart, stopped me in my tracks.  It was not one of my top ten songs but it was one that I sang along with belting out the “rup pa pum pums” with the best of them.  This year, when I hear it, I pause to listen to it… really listen.

Often times I have wondered what I could possible give God.  Sure there’s the Sunday school answers, “my heart,” “my devotion” but come on I can’t put a bow on it.  It’s the age old question, “What do you give a man that has everything?”  literally.  The words of the Little Drummer Boy suddenly opened my eyes.  It really was a revelation and it seemed like an “aha!” moment for me.

All the little boy had to give was his drum and his talent to play it.  He was like the poor woman with only a penny to give, and she gave it.  He was like one of the saints before the throne casting their crowns at God’s feet.  The boy gave the baby Jesus everything he had, his talent  and it pleased Jesus.  Perhaps it didn’t seem much to the boy, maybe even insignificant, but to Jesus… that was everything He wanted.

Not everybody is talented to be a drummer.  Have you tried to keep the beat on the base drum, floor Tom-Tom and snare drum…  AT THE SAME TIME???  Have you tied to keep the beat on even ONE?  I had to look up the proper names for these things just to sound like I knew what I was talking about.  Talent, people, a gift.  Either you have it or you don’t (and I don’t).

Imagine this, if you’re a parent you get this, it’s like your child coming to you beaming full of pride and holding up a picture they just created. “Look what I did!  I made it just for you.”  In that moment Love blossoms in your heart, spreads its wings and warmth floods your chest.  It’s not a Picasso but it’s the love and selflessness in which the gift is given.  ” Wow! For me?”  My child thought of me when he was creating this.  wow.

God has blessed me with certain gifts and talents.  YOU have gifts and talents.  We can share this with God this season.  I love to bake.   Sure, I would love to invite the Trinity to my house, have them sit at my table while I serve them a hot cup of coffee and fresh baked Italian Cream Cake, my specialty.  While they ate I would read them a story I wrote just for them.  THAT would be awesome. (sigh)

I can’t offer them cake but I can bake it “as if unto the Lord.” That very act can be a form of worship.  I can serve up the cake to friends and share my love of baking with them.  I can write a story, a love letter or a blog post in His honor with Him as my audience.  Basically, I can use the gifts and talents He blessed me with in turn to bless Him.

Many of my friends are photographers, artists, writers, musicians and such.  Whose to say they can’t offer praise and worship to God as they create their works?  Some friends love to cook and what better way to bless God than to pour yourself into your meal and share it with friends?  Not everyone can cook a fantastic meal so when those invites come who wouldn’t jump at the chance and praise God THEY don’t have to cook?

You have a lot to offer Him and not just during this Christmas season.  Not everyone can do what you may find comes so easily for you.  Anyone can buy a camera but it takes a true artist to see what others can’t and bring it to life.  Anyone can buy paint and brushes and try their hand at trees but the artist breathes life into a green leaf and mixes in the signs of turning gold or capturing the reflection of the sun.

Take your time this season and really listen to the words of those Christmas songs about that day God became man and started this wonderful journey of redemption

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