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O Come Let Us Adore Him
by Tom Goodman
December 18, 2013

It's not unusual in large cities for pedestrians to pass streetcorner musicians playing for pocket change.  But one morning the musician that commuters rushed past in Washington, D.C. was internationally acclaimed virtuoso, Joshua Bell, playing on a 294-year-old Stradivari violin valued at $3.5 million.

Nearly 1100 people passed by the musician that morning.  Only seven stopped what they were doing to hang around and briefly take in the performance.

Gene Weingarten wrote about the event for the Washington Post.  "If the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that," he asked, "then what else are we missing?"

It's a parable of Christmas.  Two thousand years ago a virtuoso appeared in our midst.  Are we too busy to hear the excellence of his song?  Here's how Calvin Miller described that appearance in his narrative, The Singer:

The Father and his Troubadour sat down
Upon the outer rim of space.  "And here,
My Singer," said Earthmaker, "is the crown
Of all my endless skies -- the green, brown sphere
Of all my hopes."  He reached and took the round
New planet down, and held it to his ear.

"They're crying, Troubadour," he said.  "They cry
So helplessly."  He gave the little ball
Unto his Son, who also held it by
His ear.  "Year after weary year they all
Keep crying.  They seem born to weep then die.
Our new man taught them crying in the Fall."

Earthmaker set Earth spinning on its way
And said, "Give me your vast infinity
My son; I'll wrap it in a bit of clay.
Then enter Terra microscopically
To love the little souls who weep away
Their lives."  "I will," I said, "set Terra free."

And then I fell asleep and all awareness fled.
I felt my very being shrinking down.
My vastness ebbed away.  In dwindling dread,
All size decayed.  The universe around
Drew back.  I woke upon a tiny bed
Of straw in one of Terra's smaller towns.

It is that birth we celebrate at Christmas.  And we celebrate because the Singer grew up to "set Terra free."

So, come, let us adore him!  If you're in Austin, join us this Sunday at 10am and then on Christmas Eve at 6pm.


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