by Rev. Dawson B. Taylor
Associate Pastor for Congregational Life - Dallas
Pastor - CoH Houston
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’ Matthew 1:23
A Word of
We all have holiday traditions. For some of us it is eating a certain meal with certain people at a certain time. For others it may be a special ornament that always has a special place on the tree. While others may enjoy a tradition of attending church on Christmas Eve seated next to family or a spouse. Whatever it is and whether or not you still follow it, we all have holiday traditions that are etched in our memory.
A personal tradition that only began a few years ago has been to listen to Messiah by George Frideric Handel during this season. Music is an important part of my spiritual life and somehow this ancient text and well known melodies that I’ve sung numerous times never get old to me. Instead, it helps me center myself and open my heart to receive the gift of Jesus that has changed my life. I love hearing the beautiful music that recalls the story of Christ. I also love reminiscing about times that I’ve sung this work and the people that I’ve sung it with. It never fails to warm my heart and bring a smile to my face.
Listening to Messiah is simple. I can listen to it on the run in between parties or sitting in a parking lot. I can listen to it running an errand or on the way home to see family. Christmas in our society has become fast-paced, over-sized and over-stuffed. But it doesn’t have to be. Besides, we mustn’t forget that all of this hustle and bustle is really all about a baby, sent by God to be Emmanuel, “God is with us.”
On this, the Monday before Christmas, if you find yourself running around or filled with worry about getting everything done. Find something simple to calm and center your soul and allow God to be born again anew in you this day.
Loving God, thank you for the gift of Emmanuel.