“And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, Which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." - Luke 2:10-12
Last night my family and an assorted cast of characters from my church went a Wassailing (I think that’s Greek for caroling) to few shut-ins from our church and community. I love caroling and my family tries to make this an annual holiday event in some form or fashion. In fact, fashion plays a significant part of this traditional song fest. We borrow from my sister-law’s vast storehouse of Victorian garb and dress the part of Coventry carolers…it’s a real blast.
Like I mentioned, I love caroling and I was excited to get home, dress like Bob Cratchit and hit the streets decking the halls. Inside my heart I needed a little Christmas, something to lift my spirits, for like the song…
For I've grown a little leaner, Grown a little colder, Grown a little sadder.
I’m not sure where it crept in, but weariness was heavier than the Victorian coat I was wearing and as cold as the night air.
Our first stop was Pete’s (not his real name) home and I believe it was a huge God moment. Pete suffers from Polio and is confined to a bed 24/7; the most he can muster is a small squeeze from his right hand. On oxygen as well, Pete can only speak in a whisper and even that comes hard for him. On top of all that, he travels next week to Columbia Hospital to confirm a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Still, Pete can smile with the best and will great you with bright eyes
and a grin from ear to ear. It was that warm welcome from him that drew us in
Gathered in his small apartment, we circled around his bed to sing, but then we were all transported to a special place called grace. Our strong loud voices were joined by a silent voice mouthing the words to the songs. Pete’s unsung song lifted my spirit with grace and strength. His body could not join the festive group but that would not keep him from joining in spirit. We came to encourage him and he returned the gift many times over!
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit
and in truth.” John 4:24
Many stops later and the caroling done, I found myself wondering about such a miracle as I tried to sleep. What prisons keep me from worshipping God still? In what boundaries, limitations, and lack do I find a convenient excuse of my bowing my knee or my heart?
Pete’s example to worship (I pray) will stay with me as long as I draw breath.
..and I need a little angel, Sitting on my shoulder, Need a little
I needed a little Christmas and a little angel named Pete.
What about you? What do you need? How can I pray for you this
Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It is more than that. It is a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving. – J.C. Penney