Hard to believe there are only 10 days left till Christmas! The tree is up and we are in our 3rd week of “Christmas Advent” at the PCO (Protestant Church in Oman)…yet it just doesn’t seem much like Christmas to me this year. Of course there are tragedies occuring on a daily basic around the globe, but the brutal murdering of so many elementary students and others this past week in Connecticut still weighs on the mind.
I think of the poor families who lost loved ones and how hard it would be to think of celebrating Christmas…but then…that is why Christ came – to bring hope in an otherwise dark and violent world. If you are feeling a little less than festive (easy to do if you’re an expat here in Oman, so far away from family and friends), here are a few Christmas songs for YOU. These are from the “Festival of Carols” from the 1st week of advent at the PCO. The ladies performing here are a handful from the Muscat Singers and we were blessed to have them perform: It’s nice to see Gwen Wilson singing in this one as she’s normally directing the group or on the piano! They say it’s better to light a candle in the darkness than to curse the darkness. Here is one of our precious PCO families lighting the 1st Advent candle, the candle of hope: Here is a lovely piece put together by Carina Krough and Vinoo Peppin titled “I Wonder / Mary Did You Know?”:
It is possible to keep hope even in what seem like hopeless times and situations. Here is a video of one of the fathers who lost a child in the Conneticut shooting. He has the right perspective in dealing with this tragedy: In response to the recent Connecticut shootings, Max Lucado (one of my favorite Christian writers) shared this prayer:
Max Lucado’s Prayer in Response to the ShootingDear Jesus,It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.Hopefully,