Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Music Mends

I have mentioned it several times since I've begun this adventure - music is a source of energy for me. I am particular about the kind I listen to - rock, rap, country (with a few exceptions), really give me a headache. I guess I'm not a music lover in the full sense of the word. Or maybe I just have a narrow definition of music.

Regardless of all of that, I am energized by good music that we sing in choir. We practice on Wednesday nights. Wednesday is one of my Grandma days, and I am exhausted by 5:00. But the habit is so ingrained in me, that I rarely miss Wednesday night practices - it used to be Wednesday night prayer meeting with choir practice afterward. Now choir is one of the "small groups" and we meet while many other small groups are meeting around the building. I always go home feeling better than I did when I got there.

Which brings me to the subject of last Sunday night - the annual Christmas cantata. I can't think of a single one that we've done over the past 35 years that I didn't enjoy doing. Usually there's at least one song that isn't my favorite, but overall, it is a great experience. This year there was not one song that I didn't look forward to singing with great anticipation. And they are stuck in my head and I'm singing them inside, such as when I'm trying to get to sleep. But not a bad thing to have stuck in your head!

The song that I've been singing this morning is "In the Fullness of Time" by Kirk Kirkland:

In the fullness of time God reached out His hand,
In the fullness of time He carved out a plan,
With one sacrifice He would rescue all men.
In the fullness of time He came.

In the fullness of time the Word became flesh,
In the fullness of time all nations were blessed,
For Jesus had come bearing our righteousness.
In the fullness of time He came.

In the fullness of time, in the chill of the night,
In the fullness of time God sent out a light
To shatter the darkness and open our eyes.
In the fullness of time He came.
In the fullness of time He came as a Son of God
He came as the One to rescue us all.
He came here to die for our sin.
And one day He's coming again.

And the whole world cried, "Hosanna, God save us!"
And heaven replied, and called His name Jesus,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
Emmanuel, our Savior is born;
When the moment arrived to give hope a name
In the fullness of time He came.

He came to give us hope,
To give us life,
In the fullness of time He came, He came!

I love that phrase, "to give hope a name." What do we need more in this troubled time than HOPE.

Another one that I just loved, which had wonderful harmony, talked about God's gift of holy love, as though God is singing to us. One phrase says, "I washed Him with my tears and wrapped Him in my grace; Now he belongs to you - rejoice!" What a word picture.

The duet with Mary and Joseph was spine-tingling. They sang "Who would have ever thought, who would have ever dreamed, that I would be the one . . . to change the world."

There is so much fear in the world today - fear of war, fear of terrorism, fear of violence in schools and churches and shopping centers and post offices. The answer to that fear is in this song by John Waller. This is the section that resonates with me:

Tell me what kind of love would leave it all behind?
What kind of love would lay down and die?
What kind of man, what kind of God?
What kind of love would come so far for me?
A perfect love has come to take the fear away.
Deep within your heart you can still hear Him say,
Be Not Afraid!

The final song was "Christmas of Hope" by Buddy Mullins and Rebecca Peck.

Wide-eyed wondering what will there be,
Just what's waiting there under the tree?
How do we capture the magic we find
There in the face of a child?
Once more turning our hearts to believe,
Looking past what we've chosen to see,
Bethlehem's miracle forever new,
The hope of this season come true.
It's a Christmas of joy, a Christmas of peace,
A Christmas of prayer that our world will see.
A Christmas of love, God help us to show
This is a Christmas of hope.

All of the trimmings of holiday cheer
Can't mend the broken hearts burdened with fear.
What we need most is the light Jesus brings
To help us see what Christmas means.
Heaven's promise of mercy and love
Heals us when we have childlike trust.
Giving and caring our hope is renewed.
This Christmas our dreams can come true.
It's a Christmas of joy, a Christmas of peace,
A Christmas of prayer that our world will see.
A Christmas of love, God help us to show
This is a Christmas of HOPE.

There is nothing more I can say that would add to the message of these songs. May the peace of this wonderful Lord and Savior penetrate your heart today and may be hope of the future take your fear away. And mine.


Sue said...

Beautiful message in this post Dawn. The beautiful music is one of my favorite things about this special time of year..

Tammy said...

I love all that you have shared today dear Dawn!!
I'm a moody music person, I like some things some days and sometimes not...my favorite CD right now is contemporary Christian group Selah "Bethelehem's Rose"...it is in my CD player and always on when I travel about my small town...

sema said...

It sure was lovely to hear the Christmas cantata. Hopefully, our christmas program tomorrow night will be as nice! I can't wait!!!!!

Dawn said...

I have tried off and on all day to comment on Beta Blogger sites, with no luck. I've tried it as anonymous and as other. Nothing works. If you're reading this and you're a Beta person, know that I tried - really hard!

Nancy said...

Dawn can you remember the words to all of those songs? I really admire folks that can do that... I think that is such a "special" God given talent. You can not only carry a song in your heart... you actually know all of the words! Go GIRL!!!!!!!!

Linda said...

Your blog looks so pretty Dawn.
I love this post - you express so well exactly the way I feel. After we sang our Christmas Program, I couldn't sleep because the words of the songs kept running through my mind. I'll have to share some of our songs with you. I love the ones you shared with us. Music is such a powerful medium. It was literally music that turned my husband's heart around and back to the Savior - just miraculous.
Thanks for this wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

We got your Christmas card yesterday...except there was only an envelope inside...I think we missed the picture=). I understand though, just trying to get them stuffed...and missed one=). I thought it was cute.

Dawn said...

My beautiful Christmas look is thanks to my dear talented Kristen. Enjoy!

Pamela said...

When our hearts are filled with hope it can be the little knudge we need to optimistically go on with life. Have you ever noticed the twinkle in someone's eyes when they are hopeful, it just twinkles. Your post is so uplifting. The words in the two songs are so lovely. They just speak to my heart! The choir in our church just rises up and fills me with HIS presence! I love it! :)

Barb said...

Well, my goodness, look at you, Dawn! So red and green and I love the adorable photos in your header. Wow. Did you do this? It's wonderful.

I love the John Waller song. It really speaks to me.

Barb said...

OK, I guess if I'd taken time to read through your comments I'd have known Kristen did this. Good job, Kristen!

Grafted Branch said...

What profound words are in those selections! I'm with you on music. Someday we'll sing in the same choir. :)

Maggie Ann said...

Christ honoring music is so refreshing to the soul..I agree. Being on the straight and narrow road with Jesus holding my hand is fulfillment like the world will never know. How wonderful that He is still calling sinners to come home. Warm wishs for a Blessed & Happy Christmas. All my decorating is done, but no baking yet. I'm trying to take advantage of this weeks warmer weather to paint our bedroom and its taking longer than I thought it would!

PEA said...

Love your new look Dawn...it's gorgeous!! Kristen does some beautiful work:-) I love the pictures of the girls with the cookies, so precious! I love music, especially at Christmas time...I remember going to a lot of Christmas concerts or to church to listen to the choir.