Married to the Empire

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I shared a while back about my love of Page CXVI, who puts out albums of hymns that are done in a more modern fashion, yet keep the integrity of the original music.  I adore hymns and hate that they are fading into obscurity.  While I don't dislike modern praise-and-worship music, I don't think it's terribly meaningful in its message.  Some songs are, of course, but most aren't.  In general, they just seem repetitious and light on gospel truth. 

Interestingly, I'd noticed that on the rare occasions we sang hymns in church, our students really responded to them.  You just can't ignore the powerful lyrics in a good hymn!  When one of our boys stated that "It Is Well with My Soul" is the best hymn ever, I was moved.  And I didn't forget it. 

I saw on Page CXVI's blog that they have a Hymns for Youth program, so I emailed them to find out what that is exactly.  Basically, they make their hymn CDs available for $2 each when you're buying for a youth group.  After checking with my hubby the youth minister, I ordered 30 CDs.  Usually, we buy a few gift cards to use as prizes at our annual Christmas party, but this year we opted not to do that and gave each student a hymn CD instead.  I made sure to give a copy of Hymns I to the boy who loves "It Is Well with My Soul," as the song "Joy" on that album ends with that hymn. 

I explained to the students before I passed them out what they were and why I was doing this.  I mostly got blank looks back.  They really didn't seem all that interested until my husband mentioned that I'd given copies to our music minister, and he hadn't taken them out of his CD player ever since.  If he loves this group, then it must be cool.  Humph.  Some of the older ones hugged me and thanked me.  The younger ones still seemed disinterested, which was made more clear by the fact that a couple of CDs were left behind at the end of the night. 

I'll admit, that hurt my feelings.  I gave them a gift, and a few chose to reject it, or at least toss it aside and forget to pick it back up.  When I take great care in selecting and giving a gift with meaning, it hurts to have it treated so callously. 

Naturally, that got me thinking.  If I get hurt that a couple of kids treated the CDs I gave them like they didn't matter, how greatly it must hurt God when people reject the greatest gift ever given to the entirety of humanity: his Son.  When the Creator of the Universe gives the gift that can save people from their sins and allow them to live in glorious eternity with him, how deeply he must grieve when his gift is rejected. 

This is one lesson I never really expected to learn at Christmas time, to be honest.  But what a profound one it is! 

To give this a happy ending, the boy who sparked the idea for the giving of the CDs sent me a message on Facebook.  He said, "Anne Marie, thank you so much for the CD!  Has to be the best CD I've gotten! :-)  I love you, Anne Marie!" 

That one person made it all worth it. 


*carrie* said...

Cool story, Anne Marie. I enjoyed listening to their music the first time you posted a link, so I should check it out again soon.

Kameron said...

You are one of the most wonderful, thoughtful & giving persons that I know. I hope you have a very merry Christmas. Thank you for your blog & reminding us about God & Jesus' sacrifice for us.