Christmas is just a few days away and amidst all the gift-buying, traffic-rushing, party-hopping activities, it is a time for us to reflect on the real reason why we are celebrating this holiday.
Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you some thoughts and stories from our beloved OMF Lit authors on what Christmas really means for us who believe that that Child born in the manger is the salvation of this world.
This story is an excerpt from Darlene Sala’s book Refreshing Words for Busy Women. The story is that of Steve Cadd, the founder and president of Swords Production, Manila.
How do you cope in times of difficulty? My friend recounts this experience in the hospital after his dad’s stroke:
Yesterday was Christmas day—a truly wonderful day. We had brought Dad’s favorite Christmas music to the hospital room and cranked up the volume on the little boom box as loud as we dared. We played a version of “Joy to the World” done with a massive choir and orchestra. The finale is the word “joy” repeated five times, each one building louder until the final “joy” is sung with the orchestra playing furiously, bells chiming, cymbals crashing, timpani pounding and trumpets blasting! It’s amazing how worship can transform any place into the throne room of God.
After we had asked permission from the staff, we walked up and down the long halls, singing carols to the open doors we found. It was a deeply-moving experience as people in the beds would join our singing. In one room, all we could see was the end of a bed but the owner’s feet were moving in time with the music. In another room a croaky voice joined us behind a curtain. We decided we couldn’t stop until we had sung for every room. I learned again that for Christians, when we face adversity or trials, our response should be: Sing louder! Worship with more intensity! Love with more abandon! That Christmas couldn’t have been a better day.
That’s great advice for times of adversity! Sing louder, worship with more intensity, and love with more abandon! As the psalmist wrote, “Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy” (Psalm 5:11)!