Friday, December 21, 2007

Ponder This!

One activity that I enjoy is to read the hymnal that I grew up singing out of. Sometimes I sing the songs I know...sometimes I set at Rylee's keyboard and try to figure out the tune....sometimes I just read them meditatively and prayerfully. This hymnal is one of my most treasured possessions. I love it because it smells like church to me. I remember sining many of these songs at church back in the day when we turned in between each song instead of some seamless transition. I remember the transition being the sound of pages ruffling. I remember my dad's favorite being page 125. I remember Ann at the piano and Carlos at the the music stand leading us with their beautiful harmony. I remember my mom's neck turning red when she was moved by the words. I used the hymnal to as something hard while I wrote notes to my friends when the service was going too long. I know I didn't appreciate it then. Now I love these songs because I believe that songs should teach something...like doctrine and biblical truth. Often times modern music leaves me feeling disapointed...too simple and usually too repetitive...oh and way to much about me instead of Him. I believe it was the great reformer Martian Luther that said that when we sing God's truth our soul says "Amen!" I love that feeling!

The past couple of weeks I can't get the second verse of "Good Christian Men Rejoice" out of my head.

"Good Christian Men rejoice! With heart and soul and voice! Now ye hear of endless bliss Jesus Christ was born for this. He hath opened heaven's door, and man is blessed forever more. Christ was born for this, Christ was born for this!"

Christ birth is wonderful because he was born to bring us redemption. He was born to save! Salvation came because HE died in our place. He was born to die. My heart turns to his mother. The one who pondered things in her heart. The one who knelt beside a manger He used for a bed, wrapped in him swaddling cloths (and I believe mostly held her sweet lil' boy in her arms. After all he was her first and there were wild animals and strangers there who I am sure did not wash their hands!) This is the same mother who knelt at the foot of the cross and then wrapped Him in burial cloths and held her son again in her arms.
I am sure her whole life long these two moments were replayed in her mind. He was born to die. He did a lot of great living in the middle. I wonder what the ponderings were? She was told from the very beginning that a sword would pierce her own soul. It is not easy to be a mom who know that her child will live a life of suffering. I know that when you watch your child suffer you human instinct is to pull back your heart because the pain of a breaking heart is so great. I know that her heart must have been swung back and forth as she she was comforted by the truth that Jesus Christ was born for THIS! and then the frustration of Jesus being born for this? Each time over the past few weeks when I sing or hear this song It comforts me to know she understands all those things she pondered about and that it was those treasures that she laid at Her Saviors feet. I keep thinking of her looking down on us from the Great Cloud when we sing the third verse. I wonder if they get to sing with us? Oh, I hope so!

"Good Christian men rejoice. With heart and soul and voice! Now ye need no fear the grave Jesus Christ was born to save; Calls you one and call you all, To gain his everlasting hall. Christ was born to save, Christ was born to save!"

My soul this Christmas says "Amen!"

7 comments:

amyjo said...

I keep a hymnal next to my "spot" where I read, pray, meditate, etc. I love it better than my Ipod. No doubt it can comfort me and draw me close to the throne as no contemporary music can. Betcha didn't know that about me :-) But yes, I have fond memories as well. My grandma played the piano in church and I would sit beside her and turn the pages or hold the book open...

shannon said...

amen sweet sister. thanks for sharing your heart. merry Christmas!!

adam brown said...

Hi, this is not so related to your page, but it is the site you asked me 1 month ago about the abs diet. I tried it, worked well. Well here is the site

velvet said...

My favorite hymn as a kid was #303-When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder. That's a fun memory.

Loved what you wrote about Mary. Becoming a mother makes you think about her occasionally, and agonize with her. What was it like, and did she fully understand?

Cindy said...

When I was a kid we would go out to my grandparent's church in the country. It was an old Methodist church and there were no more than 30 to 40 people there (fewer now...like, 2). My older brother and sister and I would sit together. My favorite song was "Love Lifted Me", but actually, back then, I thought the words were...

Love Lipton Tea, Love Lipton Tea. When nothing else would help, Love Lipton Tea.

Thought you'd enjoy that little piece of childlike innocence from my past...

Cindy

KimG said...

Okay, I'll try this again. If this posts twice don't give me a hard time. I'm new to blogging. I didn't know I had to set up an account before typing my comment. Anyway... I was glad to receive your card in the mail with your precious family's picture. I miss y'all and admit I have not been much of a friend in the past few years. I spent the day at work, not working but instead reading all your posts. I didn't know about your blog till I read it on the card. I was supposed to be developing a new Algebra I and II curriculum to send to the content team in India, but that will have to wait till tomorrow. Reading your blog was a special way to spend today. Your family inspires me, and I am thankful for that. I truly miss you and your wisdom, your practicality and your peace. Please forgive me for not keeping in touch, but know that I pray for y'all often. The girls were so glad to see the pics on the card too. One of them even stole it to keep in their room, but no one would admit who had it. I got really upset because I hadn't had a chance to write down the blog address. The next morning it mysteriously appeared in my room! Sorry for rambling on, but know that we truly love you.

Kim Gilmore

Brookelyn said...

Chantell,

Mom just emailed me regarding the CMN calendar for this year. My cousin, Zoe, is the December month and she said that Reagan was November! How crazy! They couldn't have picked better young ladies- beautiful. :)

God bless-