Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Redemption Song

It's Christmas eve, which means we are hours away from Christmas and all of the strangely wonderful things that it entails. Kids around the world (and many adults too!) can hardly wait to find out what is in those beautifully wrapped packages sitting underneath the tree. Families are coming together to happily, and in some cases, unhappily, share in the creation of new memories through Christmas.

For some, Christmas is nothing more than a lonely time that highlights the pain and despair of life. With so much "happiness" floating around, some people just feel left out. And some people are just trying to make it through Christmas, wondering anxiously where the next paycheck will come from, unsure of the their future.

In the middle of all of this, I think it's time we learn a new song. For those contented folks, like me, who have more than we need and so much to be thankful for, it's time we learn a new song. For those who are lonely or worried this Christmas season, it's time to hear a new song.

We need a song that will break the normal rhythms of Christmas time just a little bit. This song needs to shake us complacents up, calling out in a fresh new way, and the song needs also to carry with it a new, transcendent element, that of hope, for all the downtrodden.

So here we are, Lord. All of us, with all our stuff or lack thereof, are before you, united in our desperate need for the real reason of Christmas to shine through this year. Redemption is what we need. Redemption from the complacency and false trust we've put in the stuff of this life, and redemption from the despair that follows us like an unwanted shadow. Come and teach us a new song, Lord. Come teach us a new redemption song.

Over the Rhine ~ New Redemption Song

Lord we need a new redemption song
Lord we’ve tried
It just seems to come out wrong
Won’t you help us please
Help us just to sing along
A new redemption song

Lord we need
A new redemption day
All our worries
Keep getting in the way

Won’t you help us please
Help us find the words to pray
To bring redemption day

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good things to carry

I'm in that spot right now. That spot of being a good night's sleep away from driving all day back home, where, in 24 hours time I will in my childhood house, enjoying the Christmas break with family. This time around, going home feels a little different. For one, I've done this trip so many times, and I guess I just know what to expect. But I've also just savored so much the various aspects of this semester, and driving home feels like i'm closing part 1 of a really good book.

So I'll drive home, relishing all the good times I've been able to have in the past few days, soaking up time with good friends. I'll realize what it is to be loved by such a good and gracious Savior. The whole "finality" thing doesn't really bother me right here, because I realize that without phases and seasons in life, we'd never really appreciate the times we have. With no ends comes no missing people, and with no struggle comes no expectant hope of something new. These are the things that make our lives the unique pieces of pottery that they are.

We are fragile and yet we have such thick shells. We need love but we have a hard time giving it. As I drive home tomorrow, i know that I have had a good semester, and that the Lord, as He always does, has cared for me and watched over me, leading and guiding me along the way. I'm so thankful for this.

And that's something to carry with you on a long, long drive.