“For today in the city of Davida savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” Lk 2:1-14
Christmas is a time of traditions. All of us have those family traditions that make our family’s Christmas unique. Christmas is a time of joy, a time of hope for peace on earth, but Christmas can be a time of sadness too.
Last year on Christmas day my brother and I sat with our mother in a hospice facility andshe died 3 days later on December 28th . This is my first year without her. In fact, it is the first year for my wife and me where both her mother and father and my mother and father are all deceased.
Perhaps no other time of the year harkens families together like Christmas. Yet we often hear about many things that separate families at this time of year as well. Some of those things can be arguments, fights, divorce, over seas military service and death. Of the many things thatcan tear families apart, of course death is the one thing that affects all families. For most people, the memories of lost loved onesbrings tears to our eyes at Christmas.
Yes, Christmas is a time for families, and for Christians who have lost loved ones we recognize that this separation due to death is temporary. In fact, this is part of the good news of Christmas. We celebrate the birth of infant Jesus who was destined to break the bonds of death so that we can look forward to the day we will all be reunited in the presence of our God.
Christmas is also a time of memories. We see memories in our mind’s eye through the prism of time. We remember Christmas as little children, young adulthood, early parenthood, and perhaps as grandparents and great grandparents. As we pass through these stages the memories change, fade and new ones are made.
Perhaps everything profound that can be said about Christmas has been said, so today rather than trying to say something special I would like to just share one of my family’s Christmas memories with you.
I grew up in a very small family. Our family consisted of my mother, father, older brother, my grandparents on my dad’s side and my grandmother on my mom’s side. No aunts, no uncles, no cousins. So Christmas memories are of the 7 of us. They are all gone now except my brother and me and we have families of our own and are now the grandparents. My brother and his family live 600 miles away and unfortunately we don’t get to see each other often.
I think most kids growing up have a favorite Christmas song. My favorite Christmas song is a relatively unknown song. It is “Touch Hands on Christmas Morning,” by Mike Douglas. When I was a child I liked to have this song playing on the record player as we opened Christmas presents.
Well fast forward to just a few weeks ago. My brother sent me some things that he had saved when cleaning out my mother’s home after her death. In the box along with other things there was a CD he had made marked Christmas songs. I put it in the CD player and to my surprise my brother had remembered my favorite childhood Christmas song: “Touch Hands on Christmas Morning.” (There are tears now as I type and share this with you).
So here on Christmas day, a time for families, I want to share with all of you the love my brother shared with me by sending me this song and bringing back for me the memories of my childhood. The lyrics are simple, the message is profound. We all have so much to be thankful for. This song sums that up by telling us to “touch hands on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord”. It invokes a prayer for peace, “pray that with tomorrow, the plow will bury the sword.” Our world needs prayer. We desperately need peace. Peace in the world, peace in our families, and that inner peace that only Jesus Christ can give.
As we celebrate our Lord’s birth. Let us be reminded that He came into our world and broke the chains of death and in doing so He gave us the hope that those memories of years gone by can be re-lived when we are all reunited again in His presence in Heaven. This truly is the good news!
The lyrics to this song are below, but please I ask that you click on this link. With the help of my tech-savvy daughter we created a YouTube video with the song “Touch Hands on Christmas Morning”, to share one of my Christmas memories with you.CLICK HERE
Touch Hands On Christmas Morning
Touch hands on Christmas morning, Touch hands and thank the Lord
When you gather on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord
When you gather on Christmas morning, touch hands on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord.
Pray that with tomorrow the plow will bury the sword
Touch hands on Christmas morning touch hands and thank the Lord
When you’re trimming a tree with candy, touch hands and thank the Lord
When you’re trimming a tree with candy, touch hands on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord.
As you’re fixing a Christmas turkey, touch hands and thank the Lord
As you’re fixing a Christmas turkey, touch hands on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord
When you’re sitting in chapel praying, touch hands and thank the Lord
When you’re sitting in chapel praying touch hands on Christmas morning, touch hands and thank the Lord.
Live in the moment. Make this the best Christmas ever. This Christmas will be a memory one day. Make it one where God’s love is present, peace is present and lives are touched. Merry Christmas!
Happy Birthday Lord! We thank you for the gift of your birth. We also thank you for our families. Bless us. Keep us in your care. Send peace on earth until the day when we are all truly home for the holidays. Amen!
If you liked this song it can be downloaded from ITunes or Amazon. In fact you can download the entire album I liked so well The Twelve Days of Christmas or just this one song. Click Here