Jen Cowart shares her Christmas traditions.
What are your favorite Christmas songs? Why do they touch you so deeply?
Years ago when Mary Did You Know first came out, it captured my heart, as well as the hearts of so many women around the world. The idea of looking at Jesus from a mother’s perspective and unveiling the grandeur of all that he came to do was both precious and majestic. Lines like “Mary did you know that your baby boy … will one day walk on water . . . has come to save our sons and daughters.” Wow! When Mark Lowry wrote those words, surely he was inspired by God to capture the spirit of Christmas.
Another more classical favorite is O Holy Night. So beautifully composed in 1847, the lyrics are as relevant and inspirational as they were 171 years ago. This is the music of Christmas to me!
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels' voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine
What organizations have you partnered with in the past in your community or across the globe to provide tangible help to others? What did you learn from them, and how can you incorporate that into your everyday life?
One of my all-time favorite church-wide Christmas projects was providing resources to develop a written language and a Bible for the people of the Cree Indian nation in northern Canada. These precious people have never had their own alphabet, and as a consequence, never had a Bible in their native tongue. Partnering with Wycliffe to provide translators and experts to develop a Cree Bible was an extraordinary way of celebrating Jesus.
As a church family, my church, Harvest, also sponsors over 1,000 children through Compassion International. Seeing how far a few extra dollars goes to bring life, give hope and provide for practical needs is such a blessing. For years our Christmas tagline was Spend Less and Give More. Our goal was to do less for ourselves in order to bless others in rich ways that bring practical help and hope. This motto of Spending Less in order to bless others by Giving More has become a goal for our family. Sacrificing in order to see someone else be blessed captures not only the Christmas spirit but the message of Christ as a whole.