Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas and Noise

Each Sunday our children collect change for missions. As we got closer to Christmas, the big bucket was emptied for year-end numbers. And this was how the great juxtaposition of Christmas and noise was about to be experienced. 

As our ladies played a special number on the piano and organ, our kids collected change. Except now, the change they collected was dropped into an empty bucket. Can you hear the change thumping and clanging against the empty bottom of a 5-gallon bucket? I could. 

The background to the noise was the playing of O Holy Night, a soft and melodic tune. Or perhaps the background to O Holy Night was the change being dropped in the bucket. It's kind of hard to say which was which now. 

But it was the familiar sounds of Christmas mixed with the familiar sounds of....noise. One might have wished us to plan differently and have the ladies play apart from the collecting of money. That would have been one way to go, I suppose. 

Yet I imagine the first Christmas was a strange mix of angels singing, barnyard animals mooing and bleeting, and....despite what the one carol suggests, even a crying baby. 

Can you hear it? It's the mixture of music and noise. It's the mixture of the heavenly and the earthly, the supernatural and the mundane. It's God meets Man in its most perfect form. 

It feels out of control. It looks messy. But maybe that was the point. If God came to Earth to show us His abundant love for each of us, then there was necessarily going to be a meeting of the perfect and the imperfect, of good and evil, of light and darkness. I don't think God got down here and was surprised by how messy the world is. 

Perhaps that is part of the lesson of Christmas for each of us. We can sing the Christmas carols. We can wrap gifts in pretty paper for friends and family. We can enjoy the most Pinterest-perfect Christmas goodies. But the news on Christmas Eve will still be bleak. The problems that existed before the Christmas season will still exist after. 

It's Christmas and Noise. 

But I have hope. I believe the sounds of Christmas, the true sounds of Christmas, will overcome the Noise. 

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