Friday, December 13, 2013


I love Christmas music, and even 30 years after it was released, Amy Grant's A Christmas Album is still one of my favorites. Great songs:  Love Has Come is a simple yet powerful presentation of the incarnation. Little Town introduced me to an alternate tune for one of my favorite hymns. Emmanuel proclaims with authority who Jesus is. Tennessee Christmas grabs me with its simple message that is basically the same as that from The Wizard of Oz - there's no place like home.

And then there's Heirlooms.

I was driving around today listening to Christmas music, and there it was. Hitting me broadside like it always does.

This powerful and emotional song wraps together the two most wonderful things about Christmas - the coming of the King and the importance of family. I've got to confess: If I hear it and tears don't come to my eyes (along with chill bumps on my arms), then I'm only half listening. After all this time, it still gets me. It did today. Take a listen:

Can you listen to it without thinking of your family? Of countless Christmases with them, days gone by with your parents, and new memories being created with your current family? I can't. It's so vivid.

And then, as it moves to the second verse, I love the parallel she draws. Yes, my family is precious and the memories are irreplaceable. But an even greater treasure came into the world 2,000 years ago, and that is what we are celebrating. There are all sorts of heirlooms lying around my house to remind me of good times with family. But the greatest treasure of all came as a baby, and brought life.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I was especially susceptible to the emotion of the song today. Seven years ago today, my wonderful mother went to be the Lord. And so the song today - uniquely today - brings together two of the things I love the most. The memories of time with my mom, and the fact that I know she is in the hands of the Savior who was born in Bethlehem.)

All that I come from (thank you Mom and Dad),
All that I live for (thank you Father God)
And all that I'm going to be (thank you Lord Jesus)
Not heirlooms. Life.

And that's cool.

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