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Surrounded by Love

An evening at the parish Christmas party leads Jonathan to wonder--"How is it that God knows exactly what I need?"


Last weekend the parish that I work at as music director held its parish Christmas party. It was in a gym in Brooklyn. It was a family event. The neighborhood used to be Italian but now is mostly Hispanic and Chinese. The party had families from all these diverse groups enjoying their time together.


There were Santa Claus and tables filled with crafts for sale and lots of food and hot chocolate made by the Ecuadorians--no sugar is the key to the wonderful taste.


First there was the turning on of the Christmas lights on the trees and Basilica itself. 


Our little choir consisted of adults and children joyfully singing carols. As we walked up the street to the gym where the party was, we sang "Feliz Navidad." I could not pronounce the Spanish words correctly so a gentleman pushing a carriage took pity on me and began singing enthusiastically to help me out.


In the gym we continued to carol for the people. Finally the Nativity play began.

This was a fantastic production with two stages and even somewhat sophisticated depictions of those ancient, sacred events. It included so many kids, and the parents in the audience were eager and happy to participate. 


The choir of kids and adults sang carols in between scenes so beautifully and seriously. I played in my broken piano style and one of the kids played violin. After the play was over we continued to sing and finished with "The Twelve Days of Christmas." They wanted to keep singing in that forever kind-of-kid way.


I thought I would be so exhausted that day, but I found myself so happy and energized. I was surrounded by love. My little choir has so much fun and my old cynical bones came alive somehow. The last weekend the CL choir sang for a large audience rapt with delight. Music is such a gift.


How is it that God knows exactly what I need?  I was in a prestigious job for so many years with so much struggle, so much confusion, so much failure--and success, too.  Music IS music! Now I am so far away from the action in the City, but He has remembered me. How is it that He can love someone so undeserving?


Merry Christmas!


Jonathan, Brooklyn, New York 



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