I listened to parts of the Christmas Eve show. In the last few minutes, I heard Ernest and Donna get on a topic that Ernest gets on with some regularity - how proud they are of their kids. It sounds like you guys did something right. And I thought of this. Here goes:
For several years, I listened to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Canon" without realizing the children were singing words. Heck, you had Pachelbel's Canon in D with an angelic-sounding choir, who needed words?!
At some point, I don't know just when or how, I became aware that words were being sung. I could not make them out, so I got on the 'net and found them. I was struck dumb. I want to share what these lyrics say to me because it goes to the heart of my understanding of individual freedom and liberty.
The song is sung in "round" fashion. There are three rounds.
In the first round, the children sing:
So who is "He"?
In this venue, "He" is otherwise known as the creator, nature's god, nature, the supreme judge of the world, and the source of divine providence. Some just say God.
So what is "this dream He had"?
"This dream he had" is the promise represented by each life.
And so, in praying for "our lives to show this dream He had", the children are expressing a longing to fulfill that promise. In more contemporary, rational or objective terms, the children are hoping to achieve self-esteem and self-actualization.
"Each child still knows" Eric Berne wrote that "We spend the rest of our lives trying to regain what we know about psychology when we were 5 years old." The sage of old wrote, "He who increases knowledge increases sorrow." As the "knowledge" of "the real world" is indoctrinated into the open minds of the young, it becomes the basis for their "normalcy bias". Things that contradict an individual's "normalcy bias" are less likely to be noticed or remembered. This is a mechanism that leads many to lose hope or to have less hope. It can lead some to lose sight of "this dream He had" for them, the promise represented by their own life.
More children chime in with the following words in the second round:
We are waiting
We have not forgotten
We are waiting - The word "Waiting" here subtly repeats the sentiment of longing implied by the word "pray" in the first round.
"We have not forgotten" repeats the idea of "Each child still knows"
And in the third round, additional children sing:
On this night
On this night
On this very Christmas night
In the hymn/carol "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem" Christmas night is the night in which "the hopes and fears of all the years are met".
And the evening and the morning bring the next day. And with that day comes the opportunity for each person to move their life one step closer to the fulfillment of "this dream He had". In this sense, every night is Christmas night even though it appears only once on the calendar each year.
The pursuit of that fulfillment is synonymous with the pursuit of happiness.
The promise itself is unalienable, except that someone loses sight of it themselves.
Government can't touch it. Realizing that promise is one of those things that each of us must do for ourselves, no one else can do for us, and that none of us can do for another.
I think this is what you guys got right. Your kids have kept "this dream He had" in view well enough to be on their own way to it.
Here is a link to the full version of the children's choir. It opens with an additional reference to "this dream He had" that I leave to you to interpret.
Here is a link to the "rock" version. The fact that it is sung by adults lends a little different flavor to the feeling conveyed by the song's lyrics.