SILENT NIGHT

tl-11-29-silent-night

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  – Luke 2:4-7

Most of us grew up singing this Christmas carol.  It’s like saying the pledge of allegiance or reciting Scripture we’ve learned by heart.  The lyrics just roll off the tongue with little or no thought.  Today I want to make you think about the words of this old carol.  Why was “Silent Night” written?  Why not “Bright Night” – although early in the song it’s mentioned that all is calm and all is…  bright.

On Christmas Eve, 1818, “Stille Nacht!  Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria.  The voices of the assistant pastor, Father Joseph Mohr, and the choir director Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church accompanied by Father Mohr’s guitar.  All the congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened intently.

On all six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.  A carol was launched that would soar into the hearts of folks throughout the world.  It’s been translated into hundreds of languages and is sung by untold millions every Christmas from small chapels to great cathedrals around the world.

Keep in mind that this simple tune was written to be played on a guitar.  The effect is so profound because of its simplicity.  It’s as though as lullaby is being sung – and what better accompaniment than a guitar?quiet-time-prayer

Often our Lord speaks to the human heart in a whisper.  Why are we so surprised when it is the soft and simple song that penetrates a hard heart?  Christmas softens most hearts by its very nature because what’s more precious than a baby?  Of course, Christ was not just any child, but He did enter into our world in the same way we as humans do.  It’s the first small bit of common ground He established in order to become a part of humanity.

When I think of what He left behind to begin His mission, I’m so very thankful He decided to follow through…  from cradle to glorious resurrection – for even me.

Take a look at Lucinda’s cute poem about that silent night.

my-christmas-storyIsn’t that cute???  🙂

 

 

 

TALK TO A TELEMARKETER DAY

TL 7-16 TALK TO A TELEMARKETER DAY

 

If you lived in the 1970’s then you will understand the humor in the story I’m telling you.  Nixon was the President and the scandal called Watergate was in the news every day.

Mom and Dad gave me a cassette tape recorder for my birthday one year.  It was a fun toy and I used it to record music off the radio and my friend Linda Brumbaugh and I used to do funny little “interviews” with each other.  As I got older though, I outgrew the need for it.

I started at Wichita State in the fall of 1979.  I still lived with my parents and helped them out as much as I could.  My studies took priority and between them, my part-time job on campus and teaching over 20 piano lessons a week, I was pretty busy.   One day I walked into the house and saw the funniest sight!  Mama was “dealing” with a pesky telemarketer!

She was arguing with the person and trying to nicely explain that she was not interested in whatever was being pushed down her throat.  This went on for a few minutes.  Then mama took the little portable cassette player and calmly set it up on the phone stand.  She gently said, “Hold please” and put the receiver of the phone right next to the speaker of the cassette player.  Then she pressed the PLAY button and played one of the recordings I had made years ago!

Had she done it to some poor soul before?  I don’t know, but she did it like it was not a brand new idea to her.  She came into the living room, sat on the couch and asked me how my day went.  She didn’t mention the fact that she had just put a poor unsuspecting telemarketer (just trying to make a living) on perpetual HOLD.

Of course today we have no-call lists for which I’m thankful.  I will never forget the day I walked in to see mama putting the telemarketer on hold.   Wink!   😉