From The Storyteller
Hello All: Offering one of my Christmas stories and an Idea for all you preachers who read my weekly posts. Enjoy. Doug
“It’s called an ear worm. It’s when you have a piece of music playing continuously in your head, even after it stopped long before.” Me to a friend after he complained about the Mickey Mouse theme song playing in his head over and over. My Google search found the “fancy” name for this is Involuntary Musical Imagery.
Which naturally caused me to think about a saying my Mexican friend repeated often, “Don’t whistle what should be sung”, and that brought me to commercials I grew up with. Songs about toothpaste, cigarettes, gasoline, and cars like “See the USA in your Chevrolet...”, are just a few of the commercial songs I remember even now.
They were catchy tunes that became our ear worms and made their paid advertising last a whole lot longer than the music. Which brings me to elevators, malls, and radio stations all playing Christmas music. There’s Country Christmas, White Christmas, Pop Christmas, 12 Days of Christmas, and the often-repeated Little Drummer Boy Christmas.
Which of course brings me to singing Christmas music in the church, and one of the great Christmas Eve services I’ve experienced. We were traveling and over-nighting in Comanche Texas (population 4,000 +/-). The Methodist preacher began the service singing Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Is Coming to Town, while the little ones danced down front. Definitely not church music but every person there joined in. Then he stopped, gave an opening prayer, and then the 40+ folks continued with traditional Christmas Carols.
I don’t remember the message, but I do remember the love and joy that filled that room. On that Christmas Eve Elaine and I were strangers in a small town expecting little in the way of Christmas spirit. I smile as I remember our great Christmas Eve surprise.
Moral: Small town surprises can be wonderful.