Soul Food

I struggle with a fairly common malady this time of year.  It's a strange form of amnesia.

Christmas Carol Amnesia.

It's not that I forget the words. And even though it's a malady, I can still remember the melody (pa-dump . . ha. I couldn't resist.)

The problem is the carols are too familiar. And I forget the message. I find myself hearing sentiments that should rock my world. Have rocked my world. The WHOLE world. But somehow fail to move me. If I even notice them.

"Joy To the World" in the grocery store, and all I'm thinking about is what to make for dinner.

"What Child Is This" on the radio, and I'm just wondering which child didn't take out the trash.

"O Come All Ye Faithful" in the car, and I'm counting up how many are coming for Christmas dinner.

I just counted my Christmas CDs, and there are 44! That's not even including all those in the car and the cassette tapes. The music is one of my very favorite parts of this wonderful time of the year (It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!)

But I'm thinking if I miss the message, I've missed everything. This is what I can't afford to forget.

So Sunday morning in church as we stood to sing "O Holy Night," I listened past the swelling music, the loud voices, and all the way


the words.

And this is what I heard,

"Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth."

The soul. Probably the most neglected part of a body.


And a whole world screaming so loud, most have no idea of its value.

Your face
Your body
Your brain
Your clothes
Your car
Your friends
Your family
Your job
Your status
Your vacation
Your house
Your furniture

All clamoring to tell us what we're worth. To define us.

But at His appearing it was the soul of a man that found worth.

You. At your core.

"A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."

I guess so! A new day that is defined not by what I do but who I am.

At the soul.

And then these words in a verse I've never heard,

"The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger; in all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger."

That last line. The one about knowing our need sung all stretched out, reaching. (Just like "Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!")

A friend in my trials. Familiar with my weakness. The God of the universe knows my need. And He came down to meet it.

It really was an oh, so holy night.