Really listening

Tonight at church we had our annual carols service. This service is a particular favourite of mine as it brings everyone together and it is always a lot of fun. Tonight was particularly special as I got to be involved in a number of different items, in fact some may say that last night I preformed the triple threat… Dancing with my timbrel girls, Singing with 6pm group and acting as part of Benny’s dramas. It was a lot of fun, and with a vocal number from my favourite group of singing sisters, it was a bit magical too. But this blog isn’t actually about the carols service, but it does give me a nice little segue to my blogging topic… as it is about carols…

One thing that has really hit me this Christmas is the words of the carols. I think for so long I have just been playing, singing and listening to the carols that there meaning had become lost, but a little while ago, actually back in November I was driving between sites at work listening to my Christmas playlist and O Holy Night come on and the words of this really beautiful carol really hit me.

I think it was the first time, perhaps ever with this song, that I had actually take the time to really hear the lyrics as I listened… this is unusual for me as I am actually really into lyrics… I am constantly annoying Dave with songs I want him to listen to the words of, so I was almost shocked that I had never noticed before. Or perhaps I had noticed, and I did know the words but I hadn’t fully comprehended their meaning until that moment in the car. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the lyrics… check them out…

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

It is such a refreshing version of the Christmas story… a reminder of what actually happened and more importantly what it means for the world. I think some of the lines that hit me hardest were:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

And I think that the reason these words hit me so hard were that the words are still true today. We still live in a world that pines for something better than the sin and error that we live in daily, yet we can’t experience that ‘thrill of hope’ which makes our tired and worn out souls rejoice until we allow ourselves to understand the worth of the Christmas story and God’s sacrifice of his son. But I guess what excites me most is that when we know its worth… there is a new and glorious day waiting for us, one of love, forgiveness, peace, hope and joy and that is the reason for all of this.

I guess it is so easy to forget and get caught up in Christmas as a commercial event, one which even without its true meaning can be a satisfying time to stop and appreciate family, friends and loved ones. But it’s so much better when the true joy and hope of Christmas helps the weary soul to rejoice… it’s the way it was meant to be… in fact when I think about the real reason I celebrate, all the other things that make Christmas exhausting seem to fade into insignificance.

I guess the reason that I post this today is to serve as a reminder… mostly for myself, that I need to make sure I have my focus right as the next week get a little hectic.

2 thoughts on “Really listening

  1. Pingback: Happy Day after Christmas « The Most Curious George

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