In case you haven’t noticed, the world is a little too divided right now. Political fighting. Socioeconomic tension. SEC football. (Yeah, I know that last one doesn’t compare to important stuff going on in the world… but have you SEEN some of the social media comments in the name of football fandom?) What’s a peacemaker to do?

My husband Michael and I were married in 1990, at the beginning of February, so a lot of the planning of our wedding happened during the busy holiday season. When disagreements would escalate among family members about those all-important (not really) decisions, Michael’s mom would suddenly yell out, “Let’s sing a Christmas carol!” and we would all laugh and settle down a bit. We still say it today when voices are raised over petty things. Don’t misunderstand, I know that some of the differences we face as a society today are anything but petty, so please don’t mistake this light-hearted log for indifference. It’s just my own little way of using those carols we will hear for the next 25 days to look for the wisdom they offer us. Each day tackles a new song, and we will explore the text for lessons we can learn in order to better “love thy neighbor,” and focus on what unites instead of what divides.

So here goes: Day 1

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Soon the bells will start.
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.

The carol I sing right within my heart? Nope. If you were to crack open my heart you’d probably hear the emotional equivalent of an Alanis Morisette song at worst, and maybe a soft James Taylor ballad at best. Whatever tune is in there, I doubt it would impart any Christmas cheer most days. But you know, I’d like to change that. What I’d really like for people to hear is something that would spread good vibes, like maybe Journey (the Escape album, specifically), or something by Aretha Franklin, or U2’s “One Love,” or I’d even settle for that song when Rocky’s training for the big fight in Russia. How do I go from funeral dirge to Footloose soundtrack? (Yes, I was a teen in the 80s.) I have no clue. But I’m committed to at least trying to find out.

SINGING A NEW SONG: Start this Christmas season with a prayer for willingness to hear the “carols” in the hearts around us, so that we can open our minds to what we can to do to change our own tune.