Luke 2: 8-20 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
I am one of those people that sings Christmas carols all through the year, just ask my colleague Maureen who I’m betting has adopted the practice… I especially love the one about the drummer boy (probably because the drum is the one instrument I am confident playing.) I have thought long and hard what to write about this season and so many memories came to mind… I couldn’t pick just one…
All I know is that I can’t think about Christmas and not talk about my family. My first blessing from the day I was born… Daddy, Mummy, James, Peter and Elizabeth… they make my memories. From Daddy and Mummy funding our Christmas shopping and us making eye rolling shopping lists, Daddy looking for a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve ( late …very late and donating one of our buckets to the cause) and promising how we are going grow our own this time round in time for next Christmas, us kids blowing and bursting balloons while decorating the house( one time we used sweets on the Christmas tree… my… my … shame on my unkindness to my teeth) , finding out the tree lights died at the last moment, watching mum ice the Christmas cake and waiting to lick up the remaining butter, some Christmases we argued over who would bake the cake (mummy always chose Peter till one year I wept until they let me bake… p.s everyone wanted my beautiful cake), delicious 6-star food prepared by Sweet mother ( aaaah mummy’s T-bone… good stuff ), I remember Daddy and Mummy giving us more money than usual for thanksgiving and then sitting outside the Church with the sun beating down hard on us because everyone who missed church all year decided to show up… I shouldn’t forget to mentioned the annual house cleaning that resulted in the airiest house under Mummy’s eagle-eye supervision… how we came across memrablia from 100 years ago…ahem! Ahem! (hoarder alert!) then me struggling to stay up and watch the Christmas films on TV to my siblings’ amusement (it was tough).
I remember when I grew up… how Christmas was not the same because Mummy was sick… and Daddy saying we couldn’t go for prayers without her… she got better then thank God. I remember the first Christmas without Daddy… actually I can’t remember it so well and I guess I don’t want to because it ended with sadder news that our uncle had passed away … Does one ever understand the greed of death? I remember when my siblings grew up and developed new interests and got families of their own… I adjusted … traditions changed, new people came and went… Some days I wanted to hold on so strongly but the change was inevitable.
But then I had someone to learn from. Mummy, with grace she approached and addressed the changes, stayed the glue that always brought us back to the family table! We were more in number and merrier… My siblings came with new brothers, new sisters, new uncles and aunties, mothers and fathers … beautiful children the apples of our eyes… new traditions emerged… and our joy was greater because of the wonderful celebration of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Christmas! I love Christmas because it has given me some of the best memories of my life with the people I love.
Lastly, I love Christmas first of foremost because it represents and reminds me of hope and reconciliation in Family. For a minute back then I was disturbed by many conspiracies/schools of thought that question its history then I remembered what Jesus said “it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean…” (Matthew 15:11) So let’s be bold enough to change the negative narrative… ask the Lord to purify our motives that they may be in accordance with Hid will to reach out in reconciliation to our families and friends and to the whole family of God, sow hope and craft a new future…
Be a Christmas miracle for someone as Christ did when he came down to earth. He pressed the reset button on our relationship with the Father… In one Turkish soap I watched recently the grandma said something that stayed with me “aren’t celebrations and holidays supposed to bring families back together and heal relationships?” So as the angels in the skies above and the shepherds sung for joy at the birth of Jesus Christ… join them, sing and dance for joy… do not act as one who has not received good news but like the Northern star on the first noel, may your light keep shining bright showing people the way to the Lord all year round.
So maybe that’s why I sing Christmas carols all year through.
May the Joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.