There is nothing that makes me more weepy than a children’s Christmas program…and that’s saying a lot, because I’m not that person who cries at movies or heartstring-pulling commercials, or at much of anything, really. But give me two minutes in a chapel filled with children singing Christmas songs and my eyes tear up every time.
I think it’s the combination of the general hope I tend to feel during Advent with the message being heralded by such wide-eyed and hopeful innocence. You never see a Kindergartener rolling his eyes at the idea of light coming into the world or peace being possible, because he absolutely think it is. Kindergarteners think, in fact, that there IS light and peace in the world, and so it’s the most natural thing in the world to sing about it.
For those of you who have not attended any Christmas programs this week (and for those of you like me who believe when it comes to Christmas programs, truly the more the merrier), here are the money quotes I heard the past two days that got my eyes to watering. (It’s not surprising that both of these are inspired by Isaiah 11, which is one of THE best chapters of Scripture.) Go ahead and imagine a chapel full of children’s voices when you read them…it’ll do your heart some good.
Compliments of my second grader and her classmates, I heard joyful clapping to these beautiful words:
“Dance and sing for the Lord shall be with us! Glory, Halleluia!
Peace and justice soon shall be with us! Glory, Halleluia!
Clap your hands and sing, Glory, Halleluia!
Joyful voices ring, Glory, Halleluia!
Wolf and lamb shall rest together
Calf and lion shall join as friends
Peace shall come to all the nations
Come, O Savior, Come!”
And the Gospel given to us by a rafters-full set of smiling Kindergarteners:
“You be the lion strong and wild, I’ll be the lamb, meek and mild.
We’ll live together, happily, and THAT’S how it ought to be!”
(During that last line they would all emphatically swing their arms across their chests, just so we could SEE they expect the world to be this way.)
Advent Lord, grant that we would be able to sing as openly and joyfully as do your youngest family members. Give us the wisdom to hope for your peace and justice to be made real among us, and to walk faithfully toward your future where lions lay together peacefully with lambs. And may all God’s people say…Amen.