O Holy Night

O Holy Night December 22, 2011

Dude! The Ogre and I got five blissful hours alone today to Christmas shop, swig espresso, hold hands and snog inappropriately when no one was looking. They might have been looking, though, but they were mostly teenagers who were doing the same thing. We were in a mall, after all.

Yeah, we’re not the greatest example of controlling PDA impulses in public but come on. We’ve been apart for six months. Also, every time my husband’s hand may have wandered slightly south of my non-waist line, I just flashed my wedding ring and grinned. Hey! Look what you can do when you’re married, kids! Wheeeeeee!

Ok. Sorry. I’m mostly sort of kidding about most of the above, kind of.

Anyway. We got a lot done today. And while we were prowling the mall, the Ogre and I happened to wander by a group of high school students playing many lovely violins, and all those violins were combining to create this song.

(NB: Paul Potts was not singing along. Unfortunately.)

This is perhaps one of the most chilling Christmas songs ever. It is amazing. Miraculous. Awe-inspiring. Anytime I’m tempted to forget, even just for a second, what Christmas is really about, I listen to this song. And then I remember. That line, “Fall on your knees”? That line always gives me chills. That’s what we’re called to do, really, in this time. Fall on our knees with gratitude, love, and joy. Even when we’re wrapping presents and trying to find the perfect Nutcracker for an incredibly picky 6-year-old, we’re to remember that these gifts are given to remind us of the ultimate gift. These sacrifices we make when we forgo sleep to wrap presents or to bake dessert, when we save and scrimp and allocate money to scrumptious rib roasts for the whole family by eating beans and rice for the two weeks before, these sacrifices are made in honor and remembrance of the sacrifice that secured for us the possibility of forgiveness and redemption. Everything we do in the weeks of Advent, the waiting, the patience, the silent reflection, the preparation, the planning, the errands and the baking, all these things are such pale reflections of what was done for us.

After all, why do we drive ourselves to distraction in the days before Christmas? I plan elaborate menus complete with a hot chocolate bar with homemade marshmallows and try to find the perfect gift for everyone in our family so that I can see their faces. Because bringing joy and happiness to others makes me happy.

The sacrifices I make in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas are so small compared to the sacrifice God made. Sending His son into a terribly wounded world. Allowing Him to be hunted, tormented, scorned, rejected, accused, tortured and finally murdered. All so that He could see our faces, so the He could bring us true joy, for all of eternity.

It was, indeed, a holy night.

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