DAVIS: Experience the wonder of the season

Jackie Davis

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King!

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled."

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;

With th' angelic host proclaim,

"Christ is born in Bethlehem."

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored:

Christ, the everlasting Lord;

Late in time behold him come,

Offspring of the favored one.

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;

Hail, th'incarnate Deity:

Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new-born King!

— Lyrics by Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, 1754. Music by Felix Mendelssohn

   

There is magic in the crisp, frosty, air. Can you feel it? There's a sparkle on the early December snow. Can you see it? Did you catch the diamond-like twinkle of sunlight on the ice, enclosing every branch, of every tree, on the morning after the ice and snow storm? Can you sense the excitement in the smiles and in laughter of children everywhere, as they anticipate the arrival of Santa on Christmas morning? Do you feel the joy of the Christmas season, and the wonder of the 'winter wonderland' all around us — even though it's technically still autumn?

Maybe it's the amazing amount of snow that fell so soon after Thanksgiving. Maybe it was seeing Christmas lights before the final harvest celebration. Christmas is in the air, and there is wonderment all around us. For some reason, the joyful anticipation of the Christmas season is already in full swing, and it's only the first week of December!

How did this happen? Was it the parade at Light Up Lockport last weekend? Was it Santa's magical lighting of the Christmas tree, atop of the Palace Theater, at the end of the parade? Was it the sight of snowmen, and children sledding that turned our hearts so quickly to the next holiday season? Maybe it was the ubiquitous sound of Christmas music — playing since November. Maybe it was the sight of Christmas trees and decorations that went up right after Halloween in stores, restaurants, and shopping centers. Or maybe, it was the lighting of the first candle on the Advent Wreath in church last Sunday.

Whatever the cause, this season, there are early opportunities everywhere to celebrate, give, share, help, donate money, toys, gift baskets, or to make meals for the homeless, or give blankets and coats for the cold. Doing for others, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, gives us the opportunity to make a difference, and share the gifts of love and joy. Christmastime helps us to experience the best of what it means to be generous and kind---even if we are simply giving the gift of time to someone who needs a friend.

The lyrics above are from one of my favorite carols, and to me, is a beautiful reminder that "Christ" is the reason for this beautiful season of wonder. Emmanuel means "God with us", and that's exactly what happened at Christmas. "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14). I invite you to embrace the love of God this Christmas season, and be sure to experience the wonder all around you, as you celebrate the holidays.

 

Jackie Davis of Lockport is an experienced inspirational vocalist, musician and music instructor. Contact her at jackiedavis.music.words@gmail.com .

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