Sunday, December 13, 2009

If You Were to Ask Me...I'd Be Embarrassed

Sometimes I wonder where my mind was wandering all the days of my growing up years.

I'm of the era of Elvis, Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Paul Anka, the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Connie Francis. As a typical teen I loved the music of the time, but while I enjoyed their songs I was never one to buy the latest fan magazine to read up on their personal lives or their latest gold record.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that if you were to ask me to name three songs sung by any of these musicians I wouldn't be able to do that. It's as if they were singing in the background of my life. It was just noise in the background. Nice noise. Pleasant noise. Noise to which I could dance. But, still noise.

But this morning, in church, we sang a different kind of song. And I knew every word to some of these songs. And I sang at the top of my voice. (I hope the guys in front of me didn't mind!)

Isn't it strange that I cannot remember the simple words to a rather simple rock-n-roll song that hit the top ten and was on the radio for weeks and weeks at a time? Those songs were everywhere. And yet they left not much impression.

But jump from there to here, to this Christmas season, and to songs such as "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", a song whose words date back to the 12th century. This is a song which one might hear only a handful of times during Christmas season. And yet it becomes so ingrained in us that we rejoice to be able to sing it again, to sing it with fellow Christians anticipating the celebration of the Incarnation of the Christ.

The ti­tle comes from Isaiah 7:14 - “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im­man­u­el." The word Immanuel means "God with us" and the song is a song of longing, of looking forward to the fulfilling of the promise of a Savior, a Messiah, who would save His people from their sins.

The chorus is best of all. "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel."

Christians rejoice at Christmas for it is the celebration of God coming to his creation, to partake of flesh, to be one with us, to die for us, to rise for us, to give us eternal life. We celebrate His work on our behalf. We rejoice!

John 1:1-5
John 1:14
Colossians 1:13-17 (click to read entirety)

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6 comments:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The old hymns speak to me as well; especially this line this morning from "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

"When peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendors fling;

And the whole world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing."

Giving "back the song"--now, that will preach; might even makes its way into a future blog post.

Thus, I say to you...

peace, sister, always peace~elaine

Elle Bee said...

That is one of my carols. Another is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. "God and sinner reconciled". How amazing and how merciful.

Amy said...

That's one of my favorites too. I wish we sang Christmas carols/hymns all year long. I think we forget so easily what great gift we've been given.

Grahamn Kracker said...

For me - I am kind of amazed at how much of my brain has been taken up by these old songs, as I can hear just the first note of so many of them and then know every word that is coming.

The same is true of the church songs that I grew up with, too, though.

I know them by heart, even though I haven't attended church for close to 30 years.

But you know what?

I can't sing. Can't carry a tune.

Jana said...

I love the old hymns, they do stick with me and the words have so much meaning, just lovely.

So my claire doggie is a cocker spaniel poodle mix, a cockapoo, she is pretty small about 12 lbs, she is a great traveling dog, and she loves everything and everyone. I was afraid to get a dog having young kiddos and a couple of cats, all I could think about was vet bills, but let me tell you it has been so much fun I cant imagine my life without a dog. We wanted to go with a breed that wouldnt upset my husbands allergies, the poodle mixes were a perfect choice!!! Cant wait to see your new little fluffly baby when you get around to it!!

John said...

We sang the same hymn this weekend at our church. It is beautiful.

So is the new picture in your title bar, by the way.