In my last post, I mentioned that I hadn't gotten sick at all this past semester. I probably spoke too soon, because now I'm sick today, some sort of cold with a minor fever. Great, on the Eve of Christmas Eve, which means that I'll likely be feeling somewhat icky during all my family's Christmas celebrations :( For some of these family members, especially on my dad's side, this is the only time of the year when I see them, so I pray that I have the energy to enjoy their company and keep up with conversations. I've been sucking down the Cold-eeze, and will probably head to bed early, as soon as the TCU bowl game is over. Could be worse. I could be jet lagged.
I've been enjoying a lot of Christmas music lately, and even when caroling around my neighborhood about a week ago. It's a neat experience, and if you haven't done it recently, I highly recommend gathering some friends and family, printing out song lyrics, wearing warm clothes (or t-shirts, if Texas is being fickle like it has been these past couple of weeks), and harassing your neighbors with your attempts at singing. They might even pity you enough to give you cookies or candy canes - our neighbors sure did.
I remember listening to "Joy to the World" back in June or July because it was on a Tom Conlon CD called "Eight Roads Home" that I had purchased after seeing him live. He performed this song, stating that it shouldn't just be a Christmas song, that we should sing it all year round, and I think he's right. As with a lot of Christmas songs, it sounds like "Joy" could be describing both the first incarnation of our Savior, and his return as king. Verses describing fields, floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeating the joy of men do remind me more of the second coming, as the rocks haven't yet shouted out their audible praises. I truly love the third verse, one that I hadn't heard very often until listening to the Tom Conlong version.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
This Christmas season, as I've heard more versions of this song, I keep getting the "far as the curse is found" part stuck in my head. Even when this verse isn't sung, I find myself hearing those words, "far as the curse is found," and I imagine every part of creation where the curse could be found, where sin and sorrow, death and destruction, are hiding in darkness. I visualize the blessings of Christ, His powerful victory of sin and death, salvation, redemption, flowing like a river over all the earth, into ever crack and crevice where the curse could be hiding and bringing light, goodness, holiness, justice, mercy, joy, forgiveness, freedom, beauty, and restoration. This is the hope that I celebrate this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas, brothers and sisters, dear friends :) I hope that this hope encourages you this season and is realized fully in your life. I love you and am thankful for you.