The Night That Started It All

photo of string lights
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Christmas decorations are everywhere and I love it! People wear colorful “Ugly” sweaters with blinking lights. Ladies wear Christmas bow earrings and pins that sparkle. Customers and clerks alike get to say “Happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas” with a warm smile. I love it! Hot cocoa and cookies at church. Christmas carols are on the radio. By the way, is it me or shouldn’t there be a permanent Christmas carol station on the radio? Can I get an amen on that? All of these things going on at the same time create an amazing experience most of us enjoy.

But the Eeyore in me says, “It’s all going to be gone next week.”

The kid in me doesn’t want the holiday experience to end. We know Christmas begins during the last of week of October and ends at the first of the year. At least that’s according to the local Home Depot. Instead of enjoying what’s happening right now, I’m looking at the end and shaking my head at the brevity of it all.

But God showed me why Christmas is not a seasonal experience, but an eternal celebration.

I was at our church and our worship team lead the congregation with carols. I’m used to singing along to the carols and I admit, I don’t always pay attention to the lyrics. Like many churches, the song lyrics appeared on big screens so we could sing along. This is where God grabbed my heart. Read these lyrics to O Holy Night (Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, 1847):

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,

Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friends.

He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

These are not the lyrics celebrating a one time event or even an annual get together by the fireplace with nog and sweets. This is a song celebrating a new life being brought into the world to give new life to the people of the world. This song was written onto paper to celebrate being able to know God’s love through the man Jesus, to be able to learn to love one another despite our labels, to know what freedom is through this man’s work on the cross and to be able to proclaim (sing out loud) Christ is lord!

This season isn’t a one time event. It’s an event we get to experience and celebrate starting in the morning and ending when our heads hit the pillow. That one night in church, I learned it won’t all be gone by next week, it will be in our hearts and minds whenever we need. 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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