I started singing Christmas music in September this year. Normally, I’m a one-holiday-at-a-time gal, which means that I start celebrating Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, I joined a community choir. We started rehearsing in September, and I embraced the excuse to start singing Christmas songs. We gotta practice, y’all!
Besides Christmas, I also love words. I paid close attention to the lyrics of each song in our repertoire. Some of them were Latin (veni, veni!). Some were German (von herben Leid und Traurigkeit!). All of them were beautiful. But one word stands out to me.
No, it’s not peace or joy. It’s not lullay or angels. It’s not yuletide or fireside. It’s not even chestnuts or wassail.
It’s hurry. It comes in this line from “Star Carol” by John Rutter: Hurry to Bethlehem and see the son of Mary!
It’s from the Christmas story, as told in Luke 2:
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village.
I like their approach. They’ve been told something fantastic, and they don’t just take the angels’ word for it, nor do they take the news casually. They instantly determine it is something worth investigating for themselves. Now.
Spoiler alert: Do you remember in When Harry Met Sally when Harry finally declares his love for Sally? He urgently goes to find her. When he does, he says, “I came here tonight because, when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
What the angels declared to the shepherds is — if true — of unparalleled importance to every single person who’s ever lived. That includes you. It deserves investigating for yourself. Now. Hurry. The baby in the manger isn’t just a concept worth understanding; He’s a person worth knowing.
The real Jesus is the kind of person you’d want to spend the rest of your life with. I urge you to investigate for yourself. A good way to start is by reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (the Gospels in the Bible) and The Case for Christmas by Lee Strobel.
One more recommendation: Hurry.