Do You Hear What I Hear?
Driving and singing to the Christmas carols I learned as a child comforts me through the busyness of this holiday season. Each song captures memories. But more than memories, I struggle to listen to the words of the songs whispering to my heart. These words seemingly fall on deaf ears. These lyrics hope to consume my stress this time of the year.
Do I hear the message God speaks each year at Christmas?
Jesus tells us, “if anyone has ears to hear, let them hear” (Mark 4:23). Quieting my heart not only to hear but to listen takes effort. And it’s my inside that needs to be still. The outside noises will always shout for my attention. The stores shout at Christmas time. The rush for gifts shouts at Christmas time. Everything outside me screams to silence the true message of Christ’s birth.
Isaiah the Prophet spoke about the coming of Jesus, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street” (Isaiah 42:1-2).
Neither shouting to show off, or to be self-assertive, Jesus comes quietly amidst the noise of these vociferous holiday streets. Even as I drive, I find myself rushing through these streets to find a parking spot before someone else takes it. At the same time, the lyrics of my favorite Christmas song reverberate from the car radio.
This Carol calls me to hear “a song high above the trees” and to hear “a voice as big as a sea.”
I settle in the parking spot. I turn off the car. I sit and exhale to release the adrenaline from fighting to find available parking. I turn up the volume and listen to the calm whisper of the song that soars above the streets. I listen to God’s quiet voice leading me to the Shephard King lying in a manger.
Every year, at Christmas time, I can be caught in these mean streets rushing around. Each year I think, Am I hearing the voice of God this Christmas? So each year, I bend my heart to listen.
Do you hear what I hear?