Every year, the Christmas spirit sneaks up on me at a totally unexpected time. The store decorations don’t do it. It’s not in the shopping or even the wrapping of the presents. Sometimes it’s still far a away even as the tree goes up and the stockings are hung on the mantle.
I never know when it will grab me, but I’ve come to expect it. Ever since the early 1990’s, when Helen Scarlett sang a particular Christmas song at First Baptist Church of Joshua and my heart swelled with expectation and gratitude for my God, I’ve waited, every year. Until it happens, I’m somewhat grumpy.
After that moment – the definitive, specific moment – I’m ready. I’m rejoicing and singing gloria and noel-ing all over the place.
Well, it just happened. The picture doesn’t do it justice at ALL, but I’m at home, working on service planning from my kitchen table, watching the first snowfall of the year – and the Christmas spirit just enveloped my heart! The snow is not sticking – it’s turning to liquid and sliding down the house – but it’s pretty as it falls, and sometimes, in Virginia, it’s the best we can do.
I was listening to music, looking for the perfect song to cap off our upcoming Christmas Eve service. Jackie directed me to a band called downhere, and I was playing their newest Christmas tunes, gazing out the window, trying to dredge up some creative thoughts…
On hillsides of moonlight and shooting stars
Shepherds keep the late watch on a crisp cool night
Suddenly the darkness breaks to full daylight with hosts of heaven’s angels filling the sky
Glory to God in the highest now here in Bethlehem
Glory to God in the highest the child who will save all man
My eyes filled with tears and I couldn’t stop smiling.
Christmas is here, again.
Rejoice! Gloria! Noel!