December 25, 2010

Christmas Reflections

The greatest blessing of Christmas is giving; giving to those you love, to your community, to those whose lives you might touch in ways you canít possibly imagine. We often forget that something as fleeting as a smile can make all the difference to those upon whom we bestow it.

One of the ways I give is through music. Iím a classically trained singer, a professional singer...but not really. I often sing on a professional level, yet I donít make my living by singing--relatively few singers do that--but Iím sometimes paid for my talents which, after decades of training and practice, is satisfying. I write these observations after three Christmas Eve services at the wonderful church that employs me to sing, a church modeled after English country churches, wrought of stone and wood, with stone floors, high, vaulted ceilings and a cruciform shape.

As I sat there, in that beautiful building that reflects the hopes, labors, devotion and dreams of many generations, and sang in each service, I had occasion to reflect. Here are a few things that occurred to me:

One of our highest aspirations should be to be a part of something greater than ourselves.

It is often the simplest, daily blessings we take for granted, things like waking up next to our spouse; it is these many small blessings that make up our lives.

Too seldom do we tell those who enrich our lives that they do. Thanks, Bob and Brigid. You enrich my life and Iím proud to be your colleague and friend. It's a shame my first name doesn't begin with a "B."

We too often take for granted the almost miraculous technologies that make our work and lives more productive. I learned to type on a manual typewriter and didnít own a personal computer until the late 1980ís. My first cell phone came in a package the size of a large Bible and was out of range of a cell tower at least as often as it was in. We live in a time of magic.

We also need to keep such little bits of magic from isolating us. Human communication is best done face to face.

We need to listen to our loved ones; really listen to what they want to tell us. William Shakespeare said it best: ďMan, proud man. Dressíd in a little brief authorityĒ (Measure For Measure). Our time is short, and tomorrow is never guaranteed.

We need to tell our loved ones that we love them at least once every day; we need to mean it, deeply, truly and sincerely, for them, but particularly for us.

We need to believe that America is truly unique, and that Americans are--by any measure--the most generous, caring people on Earth. We also need to know that America is more than worth defending and that a people who do not understand and value the majesty of the Constitution and the blessings of liberty are doomed to lose both.

I need to thank our readers for their time, attention, comments and suggestions, and hope that what I do is useful to them.

But above all, we need to pray that we may become useful servants of God. I suspect there is no higher calling, no matter our profession.

But above all, on this, of all days, we need to remember that our Christmas can be Merry because of a sacrifice on a lonely hill, more than two millennia ago. There lies true hope, hope that can be realized not through fallible, transient government, but from the kind of change that occurs within an open, willing heart. Merry Christmas!

Posted by MikeM at December 25, 2010 03:35 AM

God bless you this wonderous time.
To add a great view of giving...

The greatest gift for us to give is thankful praise for the gift given to us by Him. His Son.

Posted by: Tom Moeller at December 26, 2010 11:40 PM

I'm a brand new reader, and I think I'll be coming back for more. That was beautifully said; I need to go upstairs and give my wife and kids some hugs.

Grace & Peace,

Hank H.

Posted by: Hank H. at December 29, 2010 12:24 AM

Dear Hank H:

Thanks, and welcome! We're glad to have you.


Posted by: mikemc at December 29, 2010 02:28 PM