REJOICE!

REJOICE!
‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? But if you ask someone the question, “What’s new?” you don’t always get a perky, upbeat, filled-with-joy-response, like, “Wow, never better!!!”
Things can be dark out there – in spite of the lighting of candles and the millions of gorgeous lights, sparkling and glittering on every tree (inside or out), every house, and pretty much anything else that will hold still long enough to be “decorated.”
I saw a dog yesterday with a gorgeous collar on that was literally packed with lights – sparkling, flashing and twinkling in every direction. He was a knock-out, to say the least. I walked over to admire him and said, “Boy, do you look fabulous!” in my best “doggie speak.” He wagged his tail and licked my hands…joyfully.
But the guy walking him didn’t even crack a smile. “Wow, your dog looks like a million bucks!” I said, trying to perk him up. “He’s beautiful!” (He was a Golden Retriever, my favorite breed…) “Thanks,” he said without smiling, “at least he’s happy.”
“Oh, not a good day for you?” I asked. “Not a good life,” he said and walked away.
(At least his dog turned around and wagged his tail…)
Okay, so listen, if you have a little (or maybe not so little) moment of the “Christmas or Hanukkah Blues,” you might just want to do what I do. Dig out your favorite holiday song, turn the volume up full and belt it out…
 My favorite is called, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” and it’s been my favorite Christmas Carol ever since the very first Christmas I can remember when I was a little girl, growing up in Ohio on the banks of Lake Erie.
From the beginning I loved the music; it was soaring, it was
lilting, it was soothing and stirring at the same time. It was easy to remember.
And the words were wonderful, too. As I grew up, I learned to love the thought of angels “bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold” and the “music floating over a weary (I thought of it as “tired” and “sleepy”…) world.”
Whenever I heard it, I knew it was Christmas - no matter what else was happening. And it was time to “rejoice.” 
I feel exactly the same way today. But we have to find reasons to rejoice. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been a time when it was as important to look for the good stuff as it is now.
Perhaps you’re familiar with “my” carol…
  
IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR…
“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.”

We need to listen for the “angels” (however we envision them) singing their heavenly music; their love song – a song that drowns out the sounds of strife and hate; of “man at war with man”…
And it’s time to sing our songs to the them. But those songs have got to be good. I mean, we can’t have them “changing their tune” to one that’s negative, “dark” or maybe as “un-angelic” as ours can be, can we?
The last stanza of the carol ends with these uplifting words…
“For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world gives back the song
Which now the angels sing.”
It’s time for us to give back the song.  
And rejoice…

 

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