…Long lay the world, In sin and error pining
'Till He appeared, and the soul felt His worth
The thrill of hope, The weary world rejoices
For yonder brings a new and glorious morn…
From the poem by Placide Cappeau
You might recognize the words as the Christmas carol, O’ Holy Night. The song is my personal favorite. And tonight, I am sharing it with some of my favorite people—you, faithful readers.
Christmas is all about family and friends. Now, some might caution me here saying Christmas is supposed to be about Christ, and so it is. But, if you think about it from a divine perspective, it is about how God made us both His family and His friends.
The birth of Christ marked the beginning of a new day when peace was declared by God in humanity’s long running rebellion. Whosoever, by faith, accepted His offer of peace, became the friends of God.
More than that, we became family through the Spirit of adoption that dwells in the incarnate Christ and is shed abroad in our hearts. As He shared our flesh, blood and infirmities, we are made to share His love, faith and power.
(C.S. Lewis has a fantastic explanation of the difference between being begotten and created. I don’t have room to share it tonight, but they are very different things.)
Christ, the babe in the manger, is the only begotten of the Father. His birth and death bring those created in the image of God into the shared experience of being begotten—we become heirs of the divine life—the family of God.
My family and friends, let your soul feel the worth, the innocence, and the life of the newborn babe. You share that worth and are precious in God’s eyes and mine. Kim and I wish for you, this Christmas, the full measure of the gift of God, the thrill of hope, the peace of faith, and the joy of love. Open your heart and receive God’s love. Draw near to Christ and He will draw near to you bringing in His presence fullness of joy.
May health, happiness, and the warmth of heart and home be yours throughout the coming year. May the light of the Star of Bethlehem shine upon you and light your path. May God’s angels surround you and keep you along your way. And may the face of God smile upon you.
Fall on your knees Oh, hear the angel's voices, Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born, Oh night divine!
Oh night, Oh night divine.