Well it was our church's Nine Lessons and Carols last night and it had more than NINE lessons for me!
The additional lesson was one in dealing with nerves. I had volunteered to sing a solo in the last carol the choir were singing. Now I can stand up in front of a church FULL of people and read, lead prayers, preach and even do an impression of a big monster. Yet singing fills me with adrenalin fuelled terror. However I know that God gave me a voice for singing and therefore I know I should use it to God's glory.
I am told that the solo sounded "excellent" and "wonderful" so I think it must have been worth the wobbling knees and the lightheaded clinging to the choir stall to stay standing.
Yet aside from THIS lesson... there are others there too.
We sing Christmas carols at this time of year and the words are very familiar but do they have lessons for us? Is there a decent theology to be explored in carols?
Some crackers.... (and that's "good ones" not biscuits, or treat-filled theologically sound additions to the Christmas dinner table!)
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient good as he
Well let's "unpack" that shall we...
Jesus says that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must all become like children so this applies to ALL of us not just the under 12s. Mild... Jesus as MILD? Now Jesus being kind I can believe. Gentle, yes. MILD? That implies a lack of gravitas that just doesn't reflect the character of Jesus for me. Obedient. Unquestionable. Yes. Obedient even unto death. "Good as he". This is where I have the real trouble. Christians must all be as good as Jesus. That's just not possible. Yes we should all AIM for this but we KNOW that we are weak, and that we've all sinned in our lives. Not one of us could EVER be as good as Jesus.
Here's another one...
"above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by"
Now my knowledge of astrophysics isn't up to the second part. Are stars silent? I always think that they make a kind of twinkling small tubular wind chimes kinda sound but I know that's rather fantastical. And blogging of fantastical... Jesus in a dreamless sleep. Really? Did he not have dreams? As someone fully divine and fully human surely he MUST have dreamed as humans do. Just imagine what those dreams might have been.
Ok another quick one to finish...
Away in a manger...
AWAY? Away where? Am I missing something?