It Is Christmas Time.
No matter your culture or creed, or what name you may want to give it, it is that time of the year when the wheels of the world come briefly to a halt and allow us to be recreational, recuperative and even merry.
At its centre is family and festivities, a time to share and a time to remember, a time to love and to be loved, and a time to remember those who aren’t loved and those who are lonely.
It is a special time of the year, and a good time to reflect on the grand story of God and His love for mankind, through His Son Jesus, who was born in a humble stable.
Old, but ever-fresh Christmas carols, impart to us the grand story in simple song. One of my favourites is O Little Town of Bethlehem.
Phillips Brookes, an Episcopal priest wrote the original poem. Lewis Redner, his organist wrote it into music for the children of their Church to sing on Christmas day in 1868.
I have extracted a few lines from this carol to create a centrepiece for my reflection this Christmas season.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light
The hope and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee tonight.
These few lines place the everlasting Light, which is Jesus Christ, as a beautiful centrepiece between Hope and Fear. If you think about it these are pivotal points in the human condition – a make or break in life. If you don’t have hope you are in despair, if you have fear you are depressed, even oppressed.
Jesus raises hope and He erases fear.
This Jesus, the everlasting Light, is the centre of God’s grand story. In the beginning there was Light, in the end we will live in His light, and in the middle is the beautiful centrepiece of His life, death and resurrection.
The hope and fears of all the years, right down the many generations, are met in Jesus . He is the centre between the old and the new, in between our yesterdays and our tomorrows. More pertinently today, He is the beautiful centrepiece in the personal hopes and fears of the ordinary Believer.
Let this old-fashion carol unveil the grand story for you far better than I can.
Take a few minutes to listen, it may ring some distant bells for you. For an extra jolt of joy, sing along with the words on the screen. The tune is simple and repetitive but the words are truly profound. Make it a Christmas centrepiece moment.
I hope this will leave you with a warm glow of the true meaning of Christmas, and the sureness of knowing, that in spite of it all, you are loved by God – for you are the beautiful centrepiece of His affection.
WISHING JOY TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES, THIS CHRISTMAS TIME.