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Christmas: 21 Days and Counting - Christmas Song

If you've never heard this song, you might think it to be a little unconventional for a Christmas song. But I absolutely love it. The simplicity, the acoustic guitar, the relevant-could-be-today lyrics and story telling piece of it captivates me every time. And Dave Matthews oh so sultry voice also causes me to melt into a trance. All in all, this song, is a true love story. From the part of Mary and Joseph, to Jesus and how He relates to all those around Him; to God, the Father and His Son.

Take a listen:   Christmas Song - Dave Matthews

The Christmas Song

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend
She be his wife; make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came three made their way
To shower him with love
While he lay in the hay
Shower him with love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around
Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried
Always out on his own
He met another Mary for a reasonable fee, less than
Reputable as known to be

His heart was full of love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around
When Jesus Christ was nailed to the his tree
Said "oh, Daddy-o I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I spill the blood of my children all around"

The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around
So I'm told, So the story goes, 
The people he knew were
Less than golden hearted
Gamblers and robbers
Drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers
Like you and me

Rumors insisited that he soon would be
For his deviations
Taken into custody by the authorities
Less informed than he.
Drinkers and jokers, all soul searchers
Searching for love love love
Love love love
Love love is all around

Preparations were made
For his celebration day
He said "eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children all around

Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill
us up with love
Fill me love love love
Love love love
Love love
And the blood of our children all around

It's been mentioned in some editorials that the songwriter, Dave Matthews, was/is not a Christian. In fact, according to one writing, before this song came out, he made the remark that, ""if Jesus was alive today, the one thing he wouldn't be is a Christian." Whether Dave is or is not a follower of Christ, he does think deeply about the story of Jesus. He connects at a heart level with the purpose and outcome of Jesus' coming. Part of which was to bring love to the world. Love is the central theme.

Joseph and Mary, boy friend and girlfriend, espoused to each other, I can only imagine were head over heels in love. They would have to be for Joseph to graciously walk through this strange story of Mary's conception, angels appearing in dreams encouraging him to take her as his bride anyway, having to travel the countryside with a pregnant wife. Surely at night when things were quiet, they would hold each other, realizing the turn their life had taken, discussing the situations they would find themselves in and the possible turmoil that might be around the next corner because of the social stigma. Joseph, being the man that he was, would probably take her in his arms, allow her to feel, express and cry at all the emotions that must have been inside. He could see the bigger picture, wanting to comfort, protect and lead his wife through this unexplainable time. At that moment, I wonder if he had any idea who Mary was about to give birth to. Nevertheless, he was comforted enough in his own spirit that all would be ok, the angel had told him so. And, the love was there. The were going to be a family. I love the verse in Luke 2, after Jesus was born, "Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself." She had just been a central figure in the birth of the Savior, receiving confirmation from the shepherds that the angels sang throughout the heavens, because her son was born. I think she new the significance of that moment.

The wise men felt it and wanted to love on Jesus as a baby. As did others who had heard he was the King they were waiting for all those years. Traveling far distances, driven by love, never doubting, they came prepared to shower him with gifts, and they did. The song goes on to talk about Mary and her concerns as a mother over this child Jesus who seemed to have a mind of his own. Mothers who love worry. Plain and simple. About everything. But Jesus was out doing what he came to earth to do, telling the world that God had a plan and it would involve saving all of man. And, to share love. He shared it with everyone, did not hold back, threw no judgment, no expectation, no condemnation on anyone. He only loved. He loved those who were "less than golden hearted," gamblers, jokers, tax collectors, thieves, or prostitutes. We are the ones who created the labels for these types of people, then added the stigma and perception of what type of people they really were. But Jesus, He saw through those labels and loved them anyway. He saw their heart, he saw into their soul and he reflected to them what they were searching for. It was a precious act then, it's a precious act now.

I'm not going into the religious overtones of this song. There's plenty of debate about what Dave thinks of the church. And, I know there are many people who would agree. But the bottom line is God loved, Jesus loved. Anything that we know that is related to love, or about love, or feelings of love, are all because of this moment, when God poured love from heaven. The nuances of organized religions will not even be a blip on the radar once the entire world is engulfed in God's love. Religion can distract us, move us farther away or disengage us from a relationship with God and Jesus. But that separation can't last. Love always prevails.

When my children were of school age, we were still attending the church that didn't allow Christmas. (Still another story for another day.) I remember feeling sad, as they would have to sit out of the school parties, plays, musical performances, art and crafts activities or anything connected with Christmas. At one point, I started a movement at our school which said that the school curriculum couldn't and shouldn't contain items from which my child would have to be excused for religious reasons, i.e., the music program. Indeed, I pushed my beliefs on everyone because I thought it was unfair that they would have to sit out in the hall while others are involved with the Christmas activities. It made me think, why would they be ok with my child sitting in the hallway. I know it must have  been awkward for them, maybe embarrassing, and there surely were hurt feelings. For at that young age, they weren't going to fight for their beliefs. Looking back, rightfully so, since it was all false anyway. Once God showed us grace, showed us where we went wrong in our belief system, showed us another way to relate to him, I knew that there was something I had to do to make up for my religion-pushing ways.

Through careful thought, consideration and prayer, I wrote a letter to the principal of the school. I apologized for having upset the system, apologized for keeping others from celebrating such a joyous occasion, apologized for pushing my false beliefs onto the entire school in the name of fairness for my children. I saw him a few days after sending the letter. He said to me, on the verge of tears, "I have never, ever received a letter quite like this. I'm speechless, I don't even know what to say. Thank you for sharing this, it really means a lot." A few months later, the victory was mine again (not necessarily the intended outcome) as I sat listening to all the children in the whole school sing songs, play instruments and recite passages about Christmas, mine among them. I remember tears streaming as I felt so humbled, so thankful and so loved all in that moment. God whispered in my ear that what I had done was a good thing.

To sum it all up, Christmas isn't about religion. It's about Jesus. It's about redemption. It's about relationship. It's about family. It's about friends. It's about serving. It's about sharing. It's about forgiveness. It's about reconciliation. It's about giving. But most of all, it's about love.

Your assignment (and mine): If we've pushed our beliefs on anyone, in a negative way, and caused offense, apologies are in order. Extend a hand of gratitude and love. Find ways to show love to those in your circle of influence, not because of your religion, but because you really do love.


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