Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas


The tiny church was a bit shabby.   Perhaps the paint would be refreshed during the verdant green months of summer.   Perhaps the cracked and crazed varnish on the tall vestibule doors would be carefully sanded and varnished accompanied by the drone and whine of fat summer flies.
 
In the early evening hours of this particular glitter-filled winter night, the shabbiness was forgotten.   Nestled beneath a canopy of ancient bare winter branches, the simple architecture and arched windows gilded the snow covered lawn with warm golden light and welcomed all.
 The small vestibule was cluttered with nervous children.
 Tonight was the children’s Christmas program.   We had been prompting, cajoling and practicing with squirmy children for weeks.   Tonight the congregation had gathered to enjoy our hard work and effort.
 My friend, Connie, and I had created the little program together.
 She, the costumer and teacher of lines.
 Me, the writer of music and lyrics. 
 Our grand finale involved 25 little children dressed in white robes with wings walking up the church aisle in song.
 
The children were carrying little candles imbedded in small aluminum pie pans to catch the drips.
Twenty-five years ago with extremely limited budgets, the robes were hand made from sheets and the wings fashioned of glittered construction paper.   Pipe cleaner halos fought to escape their confinement of dozens of hair pins on each small head.
Seated with my guitar on the altar, I remember catching my breath when Connie turned most of the church lights off.
The glow from the candles flickered from the vestibule.
I strummed the opening chord and a little stream of innocence marched two by two up the stone aisle toward the altar.
All the little eyes were intent and serious…on the flickering candles, on remembering the words to the song...
They walked carefully.
And we sang.
Oh, how we sang.
Our word echoed through the arches of the church.
The congregation held their breath.
And when the last note fell away I realized I had seen something as close to heaven as I could imagine.
Innocence.
Music.
Love.
Joy.
It was a beautiful Christmas program.
I wish you could have seen it.
A few days ago I dusted off my guitar and dug out the music from this program.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played.
 
My fingertips hurt tonight.
 
And I'm pretty sure my guitar isn't quite in tune.
 
I have a cold.
But I was determined to share this Christmas song with you.
Alas, I am technically challenged.
Instead of sharing the music all I can share is some of the lyrics:
My candle is shining so bright so bright
On all who gather here.
My candle is shining tonight, tonight
To show that Christmas is near.
See the baby Jesus.
Sleeping soft and sweet.
Mary and Joseph gather around
With angels at their feet.
My candle is shining so bright so bright
On all who gather here.
My candle is shining tonight, tonight
To show that Christmas is near
Say a prayer inside your heart
For peace and love tonight
And I will share my Christmas songs
I will share my light.
Thank you for all the blessings you have given me by your many kindnesses.
Dear friends.
Merry Christmas.
May your candles shine brightly this day and every day.
 
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25 comments:

ain't for city gals said...

I too imagine this is how heaven will be...Merry Christmas, my friend...xoxo

Ruby Manchanda said...

Lovely. Merry Christmas.

Melinda said...

May your candles shine brightly also!

Have an enjoyable day tomorrow.

M :)

nelabligh.com said...

Dear Jenny I count you and your followers among my angels who have surrounded me this year with comfort and joy Thank you xxx and happy holidaysxxx

Ms. A said...

Awwwww... very nice, Jenny.

Merry Christmas!

Simply Debbie said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS JENNY,
I am giving you a standing ovation. That was just beautiful. God Bless our children and those who work/lead with them.
hugs

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Merry Christmas!

H said...

Happy Christmas Miss Jenny and I pray that God will bless you richly through this year :)

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

You make Christmas magic 365 days a year for so very many, Matlock

This was, by far, my favorite Christmas gift this year.
I logged on just to tell you that. XO

Terra said...

Beautiful jenny! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

pasqueflower said...

Merry Christmas, Jenny! Beautiful post.

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for taking us along. Merry Christmas, Jenny!

lissa said...

lovely words for today. thanks for sharing them.

hope you have a great christmas!

Carol said...

Beautifully written...love ya Mrs. Jenny!

Beth said...

Merry Christmas and thank you for your beautiful, cheerful, encouraging and humorous words throughout the year.

Maggie M said...

Merry Christmas to you sweet Jenny, Mr. Jenny and to your family. Hugs from me and my family

fredamans said...

Merry Christmas!

Theresa said...

Merry Christmas to you too Dear Jenny! Sweet lyrics! Hope your Christmas was an extra special one! HUGS!

taylorsoutback said...

Merry Christmas too you and your family & wishes for abundant bright days in 2013.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was very special as I spent the day with both my daughters, my son in law and my sweet Tiger! The Joy and Love were so present! Hugs, Linda

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a wonderful Christmas wish! I bet their voices sounded angelic.

Jo said...

Oh Jenny ... this was beautiful! They must have sounded like wee perfect angels! I hope your Christmas was wonderful!

Annesphamily said...

Beautiful words for a lovely story. Thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

AH what a sweet sweet post : )

bluegrassnotes said...

What a nice pageant. Love the lyrics.