I needed to finish knitting a shawl for a Christmas gift, so I dedicated one day in mid-December to a knit-a-thon. After putting on several Christmas at King’s College CDs, I sat
down with my yarn and knitting needles. Knitting away, I marveled at the pure voices of the boy sopranos as they sang one carol after another. The morning passed and I transitioned from listening to the familiar melodies to paying attention to the words.
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
As I listened to the description of the mystery of Jesus’ birth, of the infinite becoming finite and coming as a newborn babe, I began to appreciate in a new way the miracle of the incarnation. The longer I listened, the more my heart joined in the chorus of praise. My fears, worries and negative thoughts receded, replaced by a sure confidence in God.
I finished the shawl, packed it up and mailed it off. But the confidence remains. This is the secret of praise. When we find ourselves overwhelmed by circumstances, fear or worry, we can refocus by praising God. Praising God lifts our eyes from our problems to God’s ability to solve them. As 1 Corinthians 10:12 (The Message) says, “Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. “
This Christmas, stop and listen to the words of carols. Ponder their meaning. Let it sink into your heart and renew your mind. Respond with praise because of God’s indescribable gift.