My favorite Christmas song throughout childhood was “little drummer boy”. I loved the noise the drums made. I’m not sure if I was musical or just liked to irritate my family but the drums thrilled me. I never believed they visited the manger scene however – everyone knows drums are too noisy for babies.

There were some loud noises in the media this week as another beloved song (Jingle Bells) was smacked down for inappropriate history.  A professor – from Boston, where knowledge is thought to be well, more knowledgeable– gave us the background for this song which was traditionally used for Thanksgiving. She merely shared the history and the political meat grinder got her – from both sides. It was still more interesting news than which senator berated who and what people thought of Melania’s shoes.  I say any woman who can wear stilettos and have that much class deserves to be first lady. All day fashion in the public eye is pretty equal to dealing with terrorists. Anyway, Fox news wrote a response to the article and quoted a Twitter user: “Jingle Bells is racist, White Christmas is racist, Baby it’s Cold Outside is sexist. What the “*%$#” happened to the America I grew up in where people didn’t wake up every day trying to find something to be offended by?” [1]

Whether its taxes, Russians or pie, people are grumpy this time of year. Our house is not exempt from this holiday hangry spirit. Just last week I got out the crockpot, feeling full of love, wanting to bless my children. It was almost midnight when I created an exquisite fruity oatmeal breakfast surprise. (I guess I got distracted when out on the front lawn there arose such a clatter.)  It was going to be sumptuous – berries, blueberries, etc. with oatmeal, cinnamon, butter. All through the night it scented our house and reminded me of my lasting love for my kids. When morning came I served it up, smiling at my husband and nodding in self-affirming delight. I just might be the mom of the year I secretly thought. Then came the comments. One mustered up the nerve to state it was warm. One named it “abomination”. That was not what I expected or anticipated. It was kind of like getting socks for Christmas when you are anticipating a grand toy. After I took a bite I realized that my frozen Ziploc smoothie contents thrown in while sugarplums danced in their heads, had been mistaken for orange/apple/veggie and it was pretty close to awful. Abomination was accurate.

History.com tells us of another “out there” Christmas anomaly. One year (1965) near Christmas, the Gemini 6 space team saw a UFO. It was not what they were expecting in that clear blue sky.  They called back to earth and then astronaut Wally Schirra started playing “Jingle Bells” on his harmonica and shook some bells, giving the hope for all below to think Santa was near. It made people look UP.

‘Tis the season for all kinds of things. Everyone is expecting something, hoping for presents, people, places that somehow never seem to turn out just like they want them. While are eyes are fixed here below there are multiple opportunities to get frustrated. The twitter guy was pretty accurate when he said there were plenty of reasons for people to get offended. Bills, relatives, paper cuts, sugar overload just to name a few.

I do want to point out that the researcher from History.com was incorrect that Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from outer space. Luke 1:14 tells us of Angels coming to announce the birth of Christ and that must have been even wilder as multiple angels were singing:

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth PEACE
among those with whom He is pleased!”

 

This little baby would change everything and give us lasting hope and promise for peace. Mother Mary we are told “wrapped him in swaddling cloths” and laid him in a manger. Young, inexperienced, weary, despised, yet she chose to do the right thing. “Let it be to me Lord, according to your will.”  She covered his shivering, naked, little body. Then Jesus died for our sins and clothed us in His very own righteousness. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” We could have been permanently abandoned to sin and deaths dark stain. We could have been destined to the devils shame dirge for eternity, but instead we were covered, wrapped, enshrouded in lavish love. We received God’s compassion. In the background that Song of all songs continues to play for those who are listening….

This Christmas we have an option – continue in our “abominable ways” hoping no one notices or we can surrender to Christ and ask for His robes of righteousness and garments of praise. (See the HOPE FOR YOU page for more information).  We can also be like astronaut Wally Schirra and bring praise into circumstances, giving hope, directing people upward. What if we became like Jesus instead of the abominable snowman this season and did as Peter exhorted:

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (ESV).

 

Here’s to being blessed instead of offended! Truly Happy Holidays.   Renae

 

[1] Park, Caleb. ‘Jingle Bells’ rooted in racism, Boston University Professor says.” Fox News accessed 12/19/17

 

Renae Roche December 2017