I had been trying to write this article and just continued to have writer’s block when this song came on the radio: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. This particular version was sung by Suzy Bogguss and Delbert McClinton. There is also a Barnes & Noble commercial airing now with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing the song. My favorite version of it is sung by Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow. The song was originally written in 1944 by Frank Loesser who premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party. Garland considered it “their song” and was furious when Loesser sold the song to MGM. MGM inserted the song into its 1949 motion picture, Neptune’s Daughter. The film featured two performances of the song: one by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams and the other by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett. These performances earned Loesser an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song “debuted” at the Oscar ceremony via a performance by Mae West and Rock Hudson. Did you know this amazing and interesting history?
Anyway, this song got me thinking. Yes, it is cold outside! Today in Fennimore it is cold and snowing and calling for 17 degrees tonight (but will feel like 11) and breezy with a chill that goes right through you. However, the world can be a cold place. Last month the article was about peace and bringing peace into the world. Without peace, the world can and will continue to be a cold place. It can also be a dark place for many.
How do we get out of this cold dark place? I remember one time while deer hunting I was tracking a deer and found it. As I was dragging the deer back to my ATV, my flashlight went out and I had no extra batteries or extra flashlight with me. It was COLD and DARK! I thought I knew where I was, but everything seems to change in the dark.
There was no light anywhere and no stars in the sky. I was getting a little frantic but then paused, caught my breath and bearings – and prayed. I slowly worked my way up a hill and once on top saw a light in the distance (I was relieved). I walked toward the light and eventually hit a farm path which led me to a field and then to the parsonage. I was so relieved to walk in that door and even more relieved that it was warm in the house.
“This welcome has been – lucky that you dropped in. So nice and warm – look out that window at that storm.” What can take us out of that cold and darkness? Light and warmth! Where do we find that? Have we already forgotten? The light of Christmas! We celebrated Christmas and the light that is Jesus Christ – a light that will get us through the year! Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life’.” (John 8:12)
It’s not until the gifts are unwrapped, the meals are eaten, and the excitement dies down that Christmas really begins. Will the light of Christmas get packed away with the ornaments, or will it live and grow inside of us each day of the coming year? Remember the baby born in Bethlehem grows up, teaches His disciples, and commits the ultimate act of love by dying on a cross for the sin of the world.
Today, tomorrow and beyond is an opportunity for each person to carry His message of love and salvation to the world. Why do we still need to carry the message that was started so long ago? John 1:3b-5 says, “What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.”
Jesus did not rid the earth of all the darkness when He came, but His light shines in the darkness and we still need the light of Jesus. As those who live in God’s light, we have the opportunity to spread the light – the message of God’s love. “Baby, it’s cold outside” – not if we let the light of Jesus in!
Will you let him in? God bless and Happy New Year!
Pastor Bud, Lori, Angela, Brianne