“Christmas, Christmas time is here…”

Our assistant pastor mentioned my primary pet peeve about this time of year during worship this morning. He talked about how we get to hear different versions of the same few Christmas songs over and over; as we go about our daily activities, we hear Christmas songs in the stores, on the radio, and so on was his point, to the extreme that some of us become ill. However, he gave me a new perspective on Christmas music.

At this time of year, across the country, everyone gets to hear songs like “What Child Is This.” You might not recognize the title, or you may know the melody as “Greensleeves.” Or, if you are a fan of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” you might recognize this version.

The lyrics however are from 1871:

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

[CHORUS]  
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

[CHORUS]

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

[CHORUS]

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

[CHORUS]

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Think on these words that give honor to Christ Jesus when you find yourself humming the melody as you walk through the mall.

Think on how these words affect you; whether you are a Christ follower or not, think on that third stanza more carefully while you shop for your loved ones this season. Here it is again:

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Ask yourself why so many who are destitute must lie in “such a mean estate.” And trust me, not all of those who suffer daily from poverty, poor access to healthcare, and limited food resources–like the over 77,000 homeless children in the US annually, as reported in a 2012 documentary–do not have the ability to, as the famous phrase goes, pull themselves up by the boot straps.

This Christmas season, don’t judge as you pass by the folks in front of the market who ask for donations for a shelter in your area or as you pass the Salvation Army holiday red pot. A little change or a dollar is not a lot to give up for hope.