I just got this in my email inbox… a song by our family’s newest favorite singer-songwriter. It starts with this line: “As the shepherds watched their flocks by night, completely unprepared…” My heart already jumps, because that is exactly how I feel when considering the Christmas in-breaking of God into our world, “the glory of Christ the Lord, born to us, that holy night.”
Matt is currently recording an album and we even commissioned a song from him – which we are excitedly awaiting. For $12 you can download his earlier albums and get the new album when it’s ready – it’s a great music collection, mellow but catchy and inspiring.
Here’s how to listen to the Christmas song he just released TODAY! Click here on the blue text, then scroll down to where it says King of Light (to the right of the cheerful gingerbread man). It says download but it will play on your screen – very easy even for techno-phobes. As the angel said, “Do not be afraid.”
For today’s reflection – a confession. I’m great with American names, but terrible with Asian ones. Part of it is that Chinese names are organized differently – the family name comes first, and the usually 2-syllable name comes second. Plus, wives don’t necessarily take their husband’s name, so there’s no easy “and this is Mrs…” Add in that names have varying levels of formality, so when I ask the name of someone of Chinese descent, I may get a name that should only be used personally, not as an introduction. Then there are a wonderful array of local names that are creative takes on English names – Jollify, Joefrerick, Cornetius. Then there are names of people from tribal areas, which are intriguing to learn because they are so unique.
I remember when I was first pastoring, and the congregation told me, “oh, we’re small, everyone knows each other’s names” (“so we don’t need name tags.”) But when I would take someone aside and say, “I am embarrassed, I don’t remember her name” and point to a regular member, often the long-time member would say, “I don’t know either…” And then we would be embarrassed together. It’s amazing how often people *say* and even *believe* they know the names of the people around them, but when put on the spot realize they don’t know. Here, I usually ask by saying, “Remind me how to spell your name?” but last week, my plan failed when the young man answered, “A.J.” Ah, well… here’s to at least making an effort to get to know the folks around us!