Twas a dark and stormy Christmas Eve…

…the trees were blowing with the force of the warm wind, and tepid rain began to fall across the windshield. I got out of my car, only to be greeted home with the sound of an emergency siren from the station a couple miles away. Reflecting how much it must be awful to have an emergency on Christmas eve, I said a quick prayer, casting my eyes upward. I noticed then how oppressively dark it was. Normally when there is cloud cover, I would see the reflection of the town lights in the distance. At this moment, the only light came from the cheery, but lonely, colored lights on my parents’ front bushes. No light came from the sky and far less even, if it were possible, came from the silent woods that bordered our property.

It was this physical atmosphere that so clearly embodied the feelings I’ve had over the past few weeks leading up to Christmas. Winter of 2008 is a very dark time. The economy, the war(s), increasing violence both on TV and in the real world, the wretched killing of innocent children by abortion, the constant threat of terrorism, and worst of all, the great void of nothingness that seems to lay inside each one of us. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for a future.

I can tell this is weighing on the minds of even the most stalwart optimists, and it has touched me deeply to see my most respected leaders affected by this, namely my boss Sheldon, Mr. Carlos, and my parents. These people I hold in highest esteem haven’t, of course, outrightly quashed the so-called “Christmas Spirit”, but they’ve just been too distracted and worried to care. Like when I suggested a Christmas party to my boss Sheldon, who looked up from his work to say with a taut grin “Oh yeah, I guess we should do something like that, yeah.” Without his full attention and leadership, the party turned out to be as lame as his granny’s arthritic knee. And like the Christmas decorations found hidden away in the Kick Connection’s supply closet, which likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day this year had some fellow elves not tried to decorate a bit. And who can blame our leaders? They’re tired. The devil has gotten to them.

It is crucial that we recognize that this cuts to the heart of the birth of Christ. Many preachers try to bring home the meaning of Christmas by having the congregation imagine themselves at the birth of Christ; place themselves in the socio-political-religious situation at the time: an oppressed people strapped in poverty and yearning for former glories of Israel and their own land. Today, we don’t need to imagine this. Our pews our no longer cushy and our lives no longer in the stagnation affluence tries to pass off as peace. We are living it, right now. Our need for a savior has never been greater; for humanity itself is tired, we cannot go on. The dark night has surrounded us.

And yet, a new dawn has broken. Let us cast our tired eyes on the hope of the world.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and 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.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

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4 Responses

  1. Your writing is very descriptive and made me feel like I was there with you, Hope that your christmass is less eventfull. And just be glad the tree did not blow over and smash your windshield, that would have been a horrible christmas present.

  2. Thy Nativity O Christ shines upon all the earth with the light of knowledge, for by it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to worship thee, O Sun of Righteousness, and to know thee, the Dayspring from on High. O Lord, Glory to thee!

  3. Sometimes the lack of outward exuberance masks a soul filled with the amazing peace of Christ that only comes from understanding the Love He brought into the world on that first Christmas.

  4. Hey, Ya know, us AT home really find the darkness really cool and amazing. It’s so nice to be so far away from everyone.

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