Monday Morning Devotion-December 14, 2020
Sounds of the Season
"Do not be afraid; for see---I am bringing you good news of great joy to all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord." LUKE 2:10-11
*Rewritten from December 10, 2018
More than any of the other holidays Christmas appeals to all the senses; sight, smell and especially the sounds. There are just some things you hear that immediately bring to mind Christmas present, past or the things leading up to it.
Swish°swish°swish for example. Say what? Well, let me explain even though it is not the memory of a sound I am most fond of. One Christmas, when I was in fourth grade, my mom decided to buy me some clothes for school.
These were not going to be a surprise because she hauled me off to Davidson's department store in downtown Macon (GA). Back then we lived in the heart of Georgia.
She knew how much I loved football, and my favorite team back then was the Georgia Bulldogs (they are second favorite now that I'm all grown up.). So, she bought me a red Georgia sweater with black print on it and here's the swish part, a pair of black corduroy knickers. Loved the sweater, hated the knickers. Why? Because when I walked those pants legs would hit together and go swish, swish, swish.
Since these were school clothes and I walked to school I would go swish, swishing all the way down that long hill to school much to the delight of my friends who kidded me about that. "Here comes the swisher" or some such catcalls. You know kids can act ugly at times.
Mom even compounded the situation by also buying me a gold Georgia Tech sweater with black print and a pair of brown corduroy knickers. Everybody, except Mom, I guess, knewTech is one of Georgia's main rivals.
I don't have fond memories of the swishing noises, but I do have fond memories of Mom and all the family things at Christmas. I remember her playing the role of Mary in the Christmas play at church with a real, live baby playing Jesus. That baby was my brother Bob. And he didn't have to wear knickers.
The sights and sounds of Christmas stick with us longer and have more impact than many others.
What if you were way out in the wilderness at night. It was pitch black dark. No breeze. Clouds blocking out the moonlight. And all of a sudden, this brilliant light was shining right above you.
A certain group of shepherds were. This group had their sheep all accounted for and their work was done. They did have to stay alert in case any mountain animals came sneaking around trying to get in the sheepfold. Other than that they thought they were in for the usual quiet and peaceful night.
No airplanes flying over back in the day. Nobody nearby with a radio blasting out music. Long before radios were invented. But, the sights they were about to witness would far outdo anything these simple sheep farmers had ever heard or seen.
Suddenly a brilliant, blinding light burst onto the scene. That got their attention. Then, decked out totally in white came the angel of the Lord, saying "Fear not." That was good advice and I'm sure somewhat comforting. Although they were still so awestruck, they weren't sure what was happening and even if they should stay or flee.
Then the angel brought them the good news. They had been handpicked to go and see this baby, who would be the Savior of His people. They had to be wondering "Why Us?" When that one angel was joined by a whole sky-full of angels and they were singing and praising God. (Think "Hallelujah Chorus") How beautifully powerful that is and how it speaks of Christmas no matter when you hear it.
They picked a designated "stay-er", one who would guard the sheep while the rest went to see this miraculous event that had taken place. Of course, they assured the guy who stayed in camp that they would text him and send pictures---just kidding. And, well, you know the rest of the story.
The music of Christmas is totally unique to the season. You don't expect to hear "Away in the Manger," or "Silent Night" at any time but Christmas.
Ebenezer Scrooge would certainly look out of place on New Year's Day or Valentine's Day.
Christmas is a multi-colored time of the year but red and green are the dominant colors. White is always in at any time of the year. My uncle Bing (I wish) can be "Dreaming of a White Christmas" when he sings that popular song in any season, but that white Christmas can only occur on December 25th. Of course, you'd better not wait until the 25th to make those Christmas plans.
Get ready. It's that magical time of the year. Everywhere you turn you will be reminded that Christmas is coming, almost here or it's here.
It's a great time to celebrate with family and friends, to give and receive gifts but it's the best time to remember why all the hoopla surrounds us. It is all about that little baby, born in Bethlehem, who caused such a stir the shepherds quaked at the sight and sounds in the skies then hurried to see him. And not only their lives but ours, too, were changed and made better because of that event.
Listen to the sounds of the season and give thanks for the Christ Child who changed the world.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the sounds of the season that remind us how you came in love, lived and died for us. Amen