Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Every year on Christmas Eve my Grandfather would put us in his big Cadillac and on the way to church we would search the winter sky for Santa Claus.
What was amazing is that every year we would see Santa Claus led by Rudolph traversing the night sky on his way to deliver presents which would always be waiting for us when we got home from Church.
I am wondering if tonight when we search the winter sky what will see?
Or maybe even more what will we hear?
As we leave here tonight will the echoes of the Hallelujah chorus be in our ears, will we hear the angel song singing sweetly in the sky?
Will we hear the mountains echo the joyous strains?
Can we imagine just over the tress the sounds of angel’s sweetly singing songs of good news, joy, and peace to all people?
Can we hear the song of the angels on this Christmas?

There have been attempts to domesticate this wonderful Christmas story we hear from Luke.
Sometimes we want to make it more realistic and more acceptable to our modern ears.
But I believe that even we that live now in the 21st century need things in our lives that don’t make sense.
We need to believe in things just beyond the realistic expectations of human beings.
We need to recapture the mystery and wonder of this night.
Angels singing in the sky might sound improbable, but I would love to have some things that are improbable.

That song that we hear from the night sky, that song of good news, joy, and peace is exactly what we need.
That Hallelujah chorus that rings in our ears speaks to our deep need for God to be with us.
It speaks of our need to be transported away into the realms of glory that tell us of Good news, joy, and peace.
“For we are bringing you good news of great joy.”

It seems that our lives are filled with bad news, hard times, and violence.
It is nice to believe that just beyond our sight, only in the place of mystery and wonder there lays a new reality.
This is what Christmas is about mystery and wonder.
It brings me back to searching for Santa in the night sky, and to that feeling I had when we finally saw him.
It brings me back to that feeling of the joy and wonder of it all.
Perhaps the only word I can think of to describe that feeling is Hallelujah.
That is really the only appropriate word for the wonder and joy of Christmas.
“To you is born this day in the city of David a savior.”
We need a savior!
We need a savior who brings good news.
Most days when I come into the office I read the news.
I have to tell you and can be depressing.
We hear bad news of bad politics, bad economies, and bad people.
The other day on the homepage of MSNBC there was a story of a man in New York who got on an elevator, and set a woman on fire and then watched as she burned to death.
My immediate thought was what are we to do?
How can we hear the song of the Angel’s through such bad news?
In faith we turn to something greater, more mysterious, and wonderful than we can think is possible.
We need look towards the heavens to hear that song of sweet Good News.
We need to hear the angels sing to us that chorus that rings louder than all the bad news.
Louder than all the sensational headlines.

We need joy!
We get stuck in our lives sometimes.
We get stuck in the mundane getting up and going about our business.
A few weeks ago I got to spend a night out with some friends.
It was such great medicine.
I didn’t realize how much I needed to laugh and have good time.
Joy brings release.
We need the angel’s song that reminds us that all is not lost.
There is something greater in store for us.
The joy of knowing God helps us not merely tolerate life, but helps us to triumph in it.

We need peace!
We need to be able to rest and to calm our minds and bodies to feel secure and safe.
This is no small thing.
We are in so many conflicts with ourselves, our family, and our friends.
This is not even to mention our prejudices and our separation from that which is different from us.
Peace is more than merely an absence of conflict it is the restoration of balance that gives our lives wholeness.

Tonight God has come to earth.
Tonight earth has ascended to the heavens.
The song of the angels is filled with mystery and wonder because they sing it to our humanity.
Hallelujah is the reminder that God is going to dwell in a baby sleeping in a manger.
God is here in the flesh, and we have experienced on earth good news, joy, and peace.
Can you hear the song of the angels just over the trees?
Can you hear the song of the angels drown out the bad news, the sorrow, and the conflict?
Tonight I wish you all the wonder and mystery of the angel song that sings from the skies and comes down to us this nigh, so that we might know our savior and have good news, joy, and peace.

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