I am so excited for our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service tonight. Gathering with family and friends, worshipping the culmination of our waiting, hearing my 7 year old daughter proclaim the gospel, listening to my husband Scott preach his God breathed words of wisdom and hope, cookies, conversations and hugs afterwards – I can just feel the glow of it all and I am giddy as a child on Christmas Eve!
There is so much to this sweet season that can distract us from all that is so very good. For this day, in spite and maybe because of all the inevitable noise, chaos and clutter, I am feeling so grateful for the mess of it all and the chance to glorify a Baby who has given us everything.
My heart goes to a stable where a young mom and a first time dad wait and work under stars shining bright to birth a baby who will save the world. I think of each of my children’s births, how I have labored through the night with hopeful expectation. Body full of pain and a heart full of hope that they would breath life into their lungs when I finally got to hold them in my arms, even when I knew deep down one would not. I still hoped, until they came. God has never taken that hope from me and it is how he has sustained me. Even when the breath of life was gone, I have never lost hope that all would be well.
I pray this season you may have hope, and love and joy and peace and comfort too. All those things we write and receive on all those Christmas cards. Read them, know them, feel them. We are loved and we have reason to rejoice.
- Here, again is my favorite hymn of the season 06 – O Holy Night, listen loud, sing it louder.
- I posted this last year just after Christmas…
A Thrill of Hope in a Weary World
- Oh Holy Night speaks of the dual nature of hope and suffering in life like no other Christmas carol. It speaks to my heart and gives me reason to praise. As I seek to sing in a season of remembrance and hope, the lyrics acknowledge I am often pining and weary and hurting. It says He knows this. He knows our need. He knows us! And in knowing Him, our soul finds worth, even in the midst – and maybe especially – when we have trials. We are loved, valued, treasured – of worth. I will overcome my suffering, because He will overcome it – all oppression shall cease. At the top of my lungs, in a pitch I can barely reach, I sing my heart out…
- 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, Before Him lowly bend!
- 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