Advent, Always on Time
I started playing Christmas music this week. If you knew me well, you’d be surprised. Frankly it’s not my favourite genre. I don’t refer to the grand church music which declares joyous news. But the ditties of the season echoed in the malls, bounce off me. I’ve had my fill of reindeer, snowmen and a jolly polar elf put to music. This year I’ve made one exception and that is the song I’ve been replaying this week. I was 6 when I first heard it done by Alvin and the Chipmunks as a novelty song. (I do not recommend it!) I heard it again this year, sung by an adult for adults - but sung for adults in need.
The title is, “Christmas Don’t Be Late.”* It speaks of the coming of Christmas. The lyric reveals wishful hopes and the tension of waiting. It questions the stretched patience of the singer and pleads that Christmas would come on time. (It always has!) You might guess that the stress of waiting is simply pent up excitement. But a careful account of the stanzas reveals something deeper.
A brother has been sad for too long. The soup pot has been more empty than normal. The face and voice of mom and dad have been joyless. There are memories to hold but the days lack cheer and hope. There isn’t enough laughter. So it’s obvious why the song asks Christmas to hurry up. It’s more than childish goosebumps. It is a void of life that needs replenished. You can see why I have been playing the song.
I notice that people have been putting up their trees and lights earlier this year. It’s as if they want to hasten the celebration of the season. They are unwilling, if not unable to wait. The days upon us are heavy. The spirits of many need cheering. While Christmas is not very far away, the need for a song is today! The time of joy is now! The song understands the Christmas comfort and happiness, healing and hope. If there is an advent - let it be now!
Christmas, Christmas-time is here
Time for memories, time for tears
Comfort those who need a friend
Fill their hearts with happiness
May they know He came for them
Oh Christmas, where you been?
And tucked in the middle of the tuneful plea is the line of grace. “May they know He came for them…” That is the gift of Christmas! Jesus has come for each one of us. He comes to where we are. He brings all that we need for head, heart and hand. Forgiveness, courage, endurance, love, presence, hope. The advent of Jesus is continual, not seasonal. The coming of Jesus timely, never tardy. So in singing the song, I voice my prayer. I admit my need.
Christmas come, please don't be late,
Oh please don't be late
Chritmas come, the World cannot wait,
Please don't be late.
* I recommend the Rosie Thomas rendition!