Sunday, December 14, 2014

Child in the Manger

In the midst of the Advent/Christmas season, I find myself in the car - a lot. Not that the rest of the year is not busy what with shuttling my boys around town.  It just seems busier. More people are out. There is a sense of urgency that is missing the other months. There seems to be a common purpose or mission. More events. More doing. More active preparation.

Our life is no different.  In addition to Jackson's basketball practices and games, we have band concerts, church productions, Social and Cotillion Christmas formals, and parties.

So again, I am in the car - but now with Christmas music. I love Christmas music.  However, I REFUSE to play any until the day after Thanksgiving. I program my iPhone with Christmas playlists. I flip flop between the two stations in our town that play nonstop holiday favorites, both religious and secular. I love Christmas music. And every year, I have favorites.

My two favorites for 2014 are Michael Buble's "Cold December Night"  (Christmas, 2011) and Michael W. Smith's "Medley (Away in a Manger, Child in the Manger)" (Christmastime, 1998). 

Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of children singing solos unless it is for a church or school play, so I fast-forward to the 2:00 mark on the song - after the Away in a Manger part.

Last night, I had to drive forty-five minutes to Augusta to take Sumter and two other boys to their Cotillion Christmas Formal. (Another parent was picking them up for the return home.) While the drive with the three teenage boys was full of laugher, comradery and playful jabs, my drive home  became one of reflection and worship.  I listened to "Medley..." Over and over and over.

The words and music were powerful. They pulled me further into the season of Advent, preparing my heart for the arrival of The One. The arrival of a baby, who was born just like every one of us. Who was tiny and frail just like every one of us. Who was held and taken care of  just like every one of us. Who cried and was comforted just like every one of us.

BUT unlike any of usHe was perfect. Holy. Our Salvation. Our Victor. Our Redeemer. Our Savior. Lord. 

That baby, just like every one of us... but unlike any of us.

...Child in the manger, Infant of Mary
Outcast and stranger, Lord of all
Child who inherits
All our transgressions
All our demerits on Him fall

Once the most holy
Child of salvation
Gentle and lowly
Now as our glorious Mighty Redeemer
See Him victorious
O'er each foe

Prophets foretold Him
Infant of wonder
Angels behold Him On His throne
Worthy our Savior
Of all our praises
Happy forever
Are His own

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