Once  again the seasonal programming that my favorite public broadcasting radio stations promote smacked me out of a forthcoming funk.  Each year its every-where -ness startles me!  

Whoever decided what to play when, their selections are again venues of seasonal grace — surprising and satisfying.  

Christmas is the protest of the human race against gloom. ~Frank Crane, Christmas Means the Indestructibility of Joy,” Christmas and the Year Round, 1917

Coming through another year of radically simplified celebrations,  what a gift this holiday radio programming  has been. 

What’s more, the seasonal music still being played days after Christmas —  chosen by others —dances in the background of my thoughts as I try to use words  to put my unsettled feelings in order. 

What Those Unsettled Feelings Are

They are like uninvited drop-ins, wrapped up in one word, uncertainty —   Maybe some have dropped by your heart this season, dear reader as 2022 looms.  All the Christmas music though reminds me we are in good company; I bet Mary would understand, Joseph too.  

Swirls of carols and other ancient compositions written over centuries, now filling the airways, lifting up my heart, are sweet invitations helping me find my place in the familiar scene, at the manger St. Luke describes.

You are welcome, to discover your place, too, dear reader!

venues of grace

A Sunday School Memory

Here’s a nativity scene — this is based on a memory of a Sunday school lesson my mother taught in kindergartens: the little gray lamb. Funny what we remember.

God, open my ears and shut my mouth so I can hear those angels sing —  both over the world’s babble sounds — and within the church.  

Christmas Day 2021 felt more like a Sabbath observance that a birthday blowout.  For as “different” as this day was,  it was good; unique, and restful.  That’s not a bad thing, given nothing has gotten simpler, easier or more predictable as we prepare for COVID-19, year III.    

Thank you, radio stations, and whoever,  for creating and sharing Christmas music about the help and hope God is.

venues of grace

The Savior by Henry Ossawa Tanner

If Jesus was really and truly raised from the dead (and he was!), then everything will, finally, be all right . . . If we don’t let the cynicism and despair of the surrounding culture seep into our hearts and sour us—if we simply go about doing the things Scripture calls us to do, making melody in our hearts (Eph. 5:19) with gratitude for a sure and certain hope in the resurrection—imagine how weird we will look. (Tim Keller HOPE)

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