Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain



This used to be my favorite Christmas song.  I would get goosebumps and my eyes would well up with tears at the very thought of this line: “Mary did you know, when you kissed your tiny baby, you kissed the face of God?”.  I had a very emotional response to it.

I still like the song and honestly still have an emotional response to it.  Sometimes it frightens me when I think to myself, “What if I’m wrong? What if the Fundies have it right?  Where did my faith go?  You could choose to believe just like you’ve always believed.”  But when I believed I didn’t know a lot of the things I now know.  I sheltered myself from the knowledge of exactly how the Bible came to be.  I bought into it’s inerrancy and the preservation of God’s Holy Word by the Holy Spirit.

I cannot now un-know.  How do I go back?  I can’t.  I could not un-see my parents putting those gifts under the Christmas tree and I cannot un-see what is clearly there with regards to scripture.  Like the six-year old who had seen the curtain pulled back and the Wizard exposed for what it really was, I can never view God again in the same way.  Maybe there is a God, but I cannot fathom that He is the God of the Bible.

The awe, the wonder, the magic of Mary kissing the very face of God in her tiny baby has been relegated to nostalgia much like Santa and the Easter Bunny.  I can no longer believe in the magic, but I can still appreciate the fairy tale.

Do/did you have a favorite Christmas song?  Share it in the comments if you like!


13 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. I know what you mean D'Ma, I still get emotional too with some of the Christmas songs. And every now and then, I too catch myself thinking what if I am wrong, and I too snap back to the reality that I simply know too much now to ever go back to the naive faith I had before.It wasn't just a fairy tale, or an annual myth. It was life, Sunday upon Sunday, week upon week, year upon year, it was a fairy tale I actually lived, and it seemed unquestionably real. The echos of that past come back to me like the memories of an old friend, only more often and often stronger due to the perpetual triggers, and the beautiful carols.Because it is so familiar, and was such a part of my life, I think that there will always be a little piece of me that wishes that it was true.My favorite carol was a favorite for different reasons. The melody of "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" always called to my soul. As I got older, I loved the apparent irony that this lumbering, somber melody was proclaiming comfort and joy. 🙂


  2. It's been quite a long time, D'Ma since I've thought the fundies might be right — although I did have thoughts like that many, many years ago. It's strange how those thoughts linger long after you know better.


  3. I still at times get that tightness in my chest and the thought of "what if I'm wrong" but like you I can't just un-know what I know now. I've tried to ignore it, but that didn't work.I still can get emotional over songs or stories like I used to, but I now recognize that that is the whole purpose of the song or story. To get you where it counts as they say. At this point I actually look forward to being in the place of Paul where it has been years since he has questioned where the fundies might be right. I cannot tell you enough especially in some of my most resent trying times when someone I love has made me feel as if I'm the one who has the "out there" beliefs, how nice it is to know that I'm am certainly not the only one with these lingering thoughts and questions.


  4. Oh and Noel was one of my favorites. I still sing like to sing it when I hear it.


  5. Now when I hear most songs I heard too often in church I react negatively to them. I feel sick and panicky. I still love the songs we sang only occasionally. "I wonder as I wander" or any minor key song.


  6. I love Joy to the World and We Three Kings. The melodies are so beautiful and inspiring.


  7. Not really Christmas music, but I am still a sucker for Handel's 'Messiah'. I really dig that rockin' Baroque. Carols? Honestly I can take or leave them. The religious ones do not offend me, although I must admit the more contemporary stuff (like Mary Did You Know) can really make me cringe. I guess all told, my favorite Christmas song is probably Holly Jolly Christmas as sung by Burl Ives. Actually *anything* sung by Burl Ives gets my holiday spirit up. I can't help but get nostalgic and merry listening to that guy sing. Yes, I own a few old Burl Ives LPs. Call me crazy.


  8. I love the more ancient melodies, and hymns with a Celtic flavor, speaking of the incarnation, such as, "Of the Father's love begotten," or "Let all mortal flesh keep silent."Rebecca.


  9. @TWF,Part of me is relieved at the prospect that the Christ story is just a myth – the part that let Hell go to h-e-double hockey sticks. Another part is a little sad that the sacrificial love part turns out not to be so sacrificial. Everything that made so much sense to me when I was looking through my inerrant Bible glasses now just seems so…well…erroneous.I'd never really thought about the dirge that brings "Tidings of Comfort and Joy". Ironic.@Paul Sunstone,I was so certain of what I believed. The uncertainly leads to doubts. Doubts about Christianity and doubts about non-Christianity, whatever form it takes. I imagine it will take quite a while for me not to give those thoughts credence. @TAW,Ugh! I can't imagine what happens when people "find you out" and you're confronted with all those feelings. Well, yes I can. Which is why I haven't been too eager to out myself as a doubter. I can't deal with that right now. I applaud your strength. @prairienymph,Sometimes I feel like that, too. Most of the time Christian anything doesn't bother me…scripture, hymns, contemporary music. But every now and then I get kind of freaked out feeling by something I hear. My Christian friends would call that the Holy Spirit. I'm starting to think it's more akin to PTSD(I don't have that but sometimes something triggers a really strong response). @DoOrDoNot,Thanks for sharing. I've always enjoyed those songs as well.@HeIsSailing,Oh my, I made you cringe. I don't know why this particular song spoke to me so strongly. I'm a big fan of the more traditional music myself. It made me sad when they slapped up a big projector screen in our church and started singing the same tired old praise and worship songs Sunday after Sunday. I missed the organ and the piano. I missed belting out the old hymns and holding a hymnal. I loved the smell of the old pages. Last year my church rented two Steinway grand pianos and the music director and organist did portions of Handel's Messiah. It was fantastic. I also love the classics. I still love to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. Just to lighten up the mood and get some holiday spirit going on here:http://youtu.be/oke4ZUhPDtw@Rebecca,I'm not familiar with those, but then I'm not familiar with the liturgical traditions. Thank you for sharing.


  10. I was a massive Petra fan for many years and I have most of their albums in a box somewhere.I have heard the song you posted before but I don't know it well, it is a beautifully performed song.Currently I find myself not really enjoying christian songs. I sing those that I know, when I go to church, but its out of habbit. I'd rather not sing them at all if I am honest, but sometimes I can't help it because my lips move as though on automatic.


  11. limey, I saw Petra play in a highschool auditorium in Sikeston Missouri (I think it was Sikeston – maybe Poplar Bluff)back around 1981. I remember being very impressed – especially by the guitarist, and I also remember them inviting anybody who wished to come back behind the stage after the show for a prayer meeting. I declined – I was driving in with some college friends of mine and we had a long way to drive to get back home. Never owned any of their music though. I was a massive fan of Kerry Livgren and his band AD. There music sounds a bit dated now, but I still enjoy quite a bit of it. The lyrics do not reflect my current beliefs – but like good Carols, they are mostly very intelligent and well written, and I can appreciate them for what they are.memories….


  12. The closest I got to seeing Petra live was when they were doing a short UK tour and one of the concerts was the day my wife and I flew back from our honeymoon.I suggested to her that there was time to go home, shower / change / dump the suitcases and hop back into the car for the 3 hour drive to the concert. It would be tight but we could do it.She vetoed that idea without a second thought and so I never did see them live.Now if it had been U2 on the other hand ….


  13. Ah…Christmas.I love Handel’s Messiah as performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (Christmas or not, He Is Sailing, I only seem to bring it out in November.) “Gabriel’s Message” (sung by Sting) tends to give me goosebumps. Almost anyone can sing “Little Drummer Boy” or “O holy night” and I will enjoy it.For humor I enjoy Bob Rivers: “Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire,” “Carol of the Bartenders” and “Decorations.” Not so much his most popular “Who put the Stump?”My kids love (dare I say this out loud?) “Dominic the Donkey.” My wife loves “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.” Can you tell we enjoy Christmas? *grin*


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