Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Keeping Christmas

I have mentioned that one of my favorite Christmas movies is An Avonlea Christmas.   It is a reunion movie of sorts, taking place a couple of years after Avonlea stopped production.

The first time I watched it, I wasn't certain I liked it very much.  For part of the storyline is their son, Felix, is MIA during WWI.  That didn't seem very Christmas-y.

However, it was when I watched it a second time (and a third, and a fourth, etc.) that I realized there were two messages of the movie.  The first is how important love is in our life, love of family and friends.

The second theme throughout the movie was how "keeping Christmas" as usual was an important part of the war effort.   I was thinking of that this weekend as my heart was broken over the events of last Friday.

I felt I needed to keep silent online, no words seemed sufficient.  I will publish the planned posts this next weekend that I did not publish Saturday or Sunday.

However, I've put a lot of thought into the remainder of this Beautiful Season and I've decided... like the families in An Avonlea Christmas... I can best honor those children and teachers by Keeping Christmas.

For we need Light in the midst of Darkness this year as never before!  We have mourned with those who mourn and I am certain we will continue to weep as we watch the evening news this week.  I cried through all thirty minutes last night.

But we must not let the enemy of our souls win by letting evil steal Christmas.   I plugged in the lights of the Christmas tree, listened to some music on the radio, talked to both my children, and spoiled my cat... and prayed... a lot.

You may already know the story behind the classic Christmas Carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  I was reminded of it again yesterday while listening to the radio.

The poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote the poem Christmas Bells (from which the Christmas carol is taken) during a time of great personal despair in the Civil War years.  I have felt such despair and wrestled with angels... only to come away knowing God is good even when life is not.

I think the message is appropriate this year as our Christmas joy is mingled with the tears of the people of Connecticut.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!


Rebecca said...

As John Piper tweeted a couple of days ago: "In times of suffering, silence is golden, and speaking is golden. It's all a matter of truth and timing and tone."

I pray for sensitivity to God's Holy Spirit now more than EVER!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brenda. One of my favorite hymns that I have sung with tears on several Christmases. I am taking a break from all the news and speculation today. Helping a friend, listening to Pandora (have you heard "The Priests" Christmas songs? 3 Irish priests who sing so lovely. I am not Catholic but a friend introduced me!)and praying. Looking forward to your posts, Dee p.s. Ann Voskamp wrote the best words I have read concerning Newtown.

Heather L. said...

Congratulations to Christopher!!! And to you, his teacher all those years!!! What a wonderful moment and I'm sure full of so many thanksgivings to God!!! I hope you have a lovely week!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...


This song has been on my heart...I shared it on Saturday...and yes, we are keeping Christmas too!

Light has come...and we need it desperately!


Vee said...

Now I have never seen that movie...I didn't much enjoy the books after Anne grew up so I have overlooked a good one, I see. You are right. Many of us are coming to this realization. It is imperative to keep on and we will not allow evil to steal Christmas. I had a post ready about a woman who has been accusing her friends of pagan worship if they honor Christmas. It'll definitely be waiting in the wings for a few more days. I look forward to your posts always...

Anonymous said...

You are right, Brenda. Sounds like you and Vee are on the same page.

Karen Andreola said...

"I Heard the Bells . . . " I can't remember when I last noticed these lyrics played over the radio or over the speakers in shops. Its message is so needed at such a time as this. Thanks for those ministering words to my heart today. I will read them again before I click off.

My adult daughters usually play violin and cello duets during the Christmas season - for hire (and for ministry). They did an upscale office party recently with a guitarist. At the last minute the company telephoned, "by the way, we want no religious Christmas music. Just "Jingle Bells" and/or pop songs." They were booked weeks in advance and now were startled, having to scrambled to rehearse new pieces. This has never happened to them before.

Your tree is pretty.

Happy Christmas,
Karen A.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting my favorite Christmas Song. I loved it as a child and love it in my 60's.

I so appreciate your blog and check for your posts daily.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Unknown said...

I love that poem!! Thank you. My children and I have been enjoying Little Paris Kitchen AND Seal Morning...I also recently started City of Bells...it is SO beautiful! :)

Laurie said...

Beautiful post. Now more than ever we need to remember the love and hope this season brings.