Click above to listen to Angels We Have Heard on High as you read, from December Peace (Best Holiday Album, ZMR Awards). If you enjoy, consider sampling and ordering the CD, MP3 Album or sheet music. You can also listen on Spotify, Pandora Holiday Channel, Apple Music and all other digital streaming services.
Where could you use some “December Peace” today?
Needle on a Piece of Vinyl ~ by Kirk Lanier (Copyright 2012, Kirk Lanier, not to be re-published without permission)
Music has been a part of my life since a very young age, and the music of December is a thread that knits together all of my 43 years. Just reading the titles of songs that were learned as a toddler, performed in choirs, played on instruments and now enjoyed as a listener… it takes me to another place. It has been said that music is love in search of a word. The music of December is inspired by God’s love in search of the world. It tells stories of the night of Christ’s birth; it brings cheer and merriment due to God’s blessings, and it quiets the mind and stills the heart as we reflect on our place and purpose.
My greatest memories of December are of Christmas spent at home with my family growing up. Even though I grew up in Florida, we managed to have a fire in the fireplace around the holidays. I would lie in front of the fire and peer into the coals looking for shapes and designs. My older brother and I would see how long we could touch the lights on the tree before they burned our fingers. It seemed like the blue lights were always the hottest! There was always something sweet to eat in the kitchen at Christmas, even though snacks generally consisted of celery and carrot sticks. We would shake all the presents and try to guess what each one was. And the backdrop to it all was a needle on a piece of vinyl that produced music that filled the house. There is just something different about December.
As a child, I didn’t fully appreciate the ability to rest or experience peace. It didn’t require any effort really… I could just “be”. Now, as a husband and father with a young family of my own, it is all I can do to find momentary rest and pause in the middle of a busy world. Matthew 11:28-30 tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” While this is an invitation to trust Jesus personally and an opportunity for rest through forgiveness, it’s also a reminder to me that I can bring my troubles to Him, I can trust Him and find peace in Him. That’s what I hope to do this Christmas, and I hope that for you too.