Lessons and Carols: A Reflection and Invitation to Peace

LC Choral Scholars

The smell of incense fills the air as I am transported to a sweeter place — one that exists outside of the busyness and pressure of the season.

Instantly, I am brought into the present moment. For the next 90 minutes, I forget the worries and stress that plagued me prior to walking through those gorgeous courtyard doors and into Founders Chapel, beautifully adorned as ever in evergreen and candlelight. Students proudly read Biblical scripture all pointing to the birth and reign of Christ, while the University of San Diego Choral Scholars and USD Concert Choir performers amazed community members with beautifully haunting Christmas carols, hymns, and traditional songs.

From students, to faculty, administrators, and staff, it is no secret that the end of the fall semester is often filled with many late nights, copious amounts of coffee, and the need for an extra six hours to be added to the day to close out the semester successfully. In the context of this hectic season, which comes with enough pressures of its own, Lessons and Carols provides an annual gift to the entire USD community and the greater community of San Diego.

What gift does this melodious evening of scripture readings, carols, and reverent harmonies offer?

Peace. Most importantly, peace that comes through a celebration of the Prince of Peace.

Lessons and Carols is part narrative crafting and storytelling through the Hebraic and New Testament Scriptures, part Christmas choral performance, part reverent worship and proclamation of the birth of the Savior, and most importantly, an invitation to remember, encounter, and reflect upon the Prince of Peace Himself: Jesus — and what His birth and presence in the world means for you and me.

As I sat in the pew and listened to the gorgeous arrangements of voices, instruments, and scripture, I was beautifully reminded that this holiday season, we are invited into the peace of Christ, whether for the first time or the 100th time. With the busyness of our campus community and all that is going on in the world, both near and far, we all are in desperate need of peace. For this first-time attendee of Lessons and Carols, I am sincerely grateful for this poignant and timely reminder. In turn, I am equally grateful to be a part of a campus community that offers such a celebration and invitation of peace, through the beauty of Jesus Christ.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’”— Matthew 11:28 (NLV)

Peace on earth and mercy mild. Merry Christmas, everyone.

— Amanda Puetz

Community Director, USD Residential Life