Christmas is a magical time. Those nights when the snow falls ever so gently and all is still-
The magic of family and friends and perfect strangers all getting together to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and good will to all.
What’s amazing to me is that Lutheran colleges all across America gather their singers and musicians together on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to prepare their spectacular Christmas concerts. Concerts in which five hundred singers raise their voices in songs about peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Can you imagine five hundred singers?! This is what five hundred singers plus an orchestra sounds like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUz8JxpEDOs.
Honestly, that makes me tear up. It’s amazing. Minor confession: beautiful orchestra music makes me emotional anyway, but this really makes me feel like I’m in touch with myself, those around me, and God and the angels in Heaven. I think that’s what happens when you cry tears of joy or tears brought on by a strong emotional reaction to something, brought to the surface from deep within you- you bridge the gap between earth and Heaven, and you feel the Spirit at work in your life. Christmas at large is one of these experiences, or at least it should be, and I know that singing in such a breathtaking concert such as the one in this clip will be one of them too.
As I prepare for my first concert of this magnitude, I get overwhelmed thinking about the number of lives that will be touched by my school’s Christmas concert. They say that by the time the five performances are done (you read right, five! This is such a big thing that it isn’t a one-and-done deal), 8,000 people will have come to hear us sing. 8,000. How amazing is it to get that many people together to celebrate one thing? And that’s just at my university. There are plenty of other places across the nation and worldwide celebrating along with us, with thousands more people adding to the throng.
But then I can’t help but think that that’s the uniting power of God. I don’t know anyone else who could bring that many people together. 2,000 some years after the death of Jesus, this many people still celebrate him. I can’t think of any single person who’s had that much influence on the world. To bring the world to stillness- almost make it stop- with peace if only for one night. That even in war zones, truces may be called on the night we call holy for our dear Savior’s birth. Do you know anyone else who can do that?
We all know the world doesn’t really stop on Christmas. Or does it? Well, at any rate, I think it’s better if we just believe that it does for one day.
As for me, I’m going to enjoy every moment of our Christmas concert, knowing that it touches more lives than just mine, uniting my heart and soul with all of the people in that auditorium. When the tears finally overcome me during “Silent Night,” I’ll smile knowing that I’m not alone- the rest of the choir and the audience are crying with me. Nostalgic, happy tears as we rest together in God’s arms, blanketed in peace and the warmth of the season’s joy.
Merry Christmas to all, and God Bless,