[Sometime I think that we too often rush into the Christmas Season. For I find that we often do so with a sense of desperation, deep stresses, and even fatigue. Sometimes we come into it with feelings that we can’t even define, we only know in the pit of our stomach, that even the word “Christmas” makes us slightly queasy, with a need to work harder, clean our houses cleaner, make the spouse and children happier… and better. Often these emotions are a product of the stresses of family, work, income needs, perhaps even sickness, or the passing away of some close family member, –and I am just mentioning a few of the things that too often tend to haunt our thoughts.
And with all of these anxieties, I think that we often nurture a hidden guilt, a guilt reflective to us that somehow we know that we have not measured up; that we have not nearly come up to God’s standards, or our families, or even our own ideals, sometimes it is especially to our own ideals that we fall short. And so we rush on, wondering why we haven’t the feelings found now only in our memories.
I want you to take a break, a deep cleansing breath, take a moment and think about the one who came to bring you a present; the one who loves you, even when you don’t measure up to his standards, or anybody’s standards, especially your own. If I may, I would like to point you this Christmas season back to the place and to the person, where the story and the miracle all began on earth. For truly, Christ’s story; that is, His story as the babe in the manger, with the angels and shepherds and magi is eternal; The story of Jesus is as eternal as the blessing he gave us in Himself; the miracle to mankind. I will be posting something short and simple, something appropriate to the season, not usually heavy in theological prose, but light, reflective, pointing again to the light and joy of heaven. –MWP]
Written by Kate Douglas Wiggin
When the Child of Nazareth was born…
…the sun, according to the Bosnian legend, ” leaped in the heavens, and the stars around it danced. A peace came over mountain and forest. Even the rotten stump stood straight and healthy on the green hill-side. The grass was beflowered with open blossoms, incense sweet as myrrh pervaded upland and forest, birds sang on the mountain top, and all gave thanks to the great God.”
It is naught but an old folk-tale, but it has truth hidden at its heart, for a strange, subtle force, a spirit of genial good-will, a new-born kindness, seem to animate child and man alike when the world pays its tribute to the ” heaven-sent youngling,” as the poet Drummond calls the infant Christ.
When the Three Wise Men rode from the East into the West on that ” first, best Christmas night,” they bore on their saddle-bows three caskets filled with gold and frankincense and myrrh, to be laid at the feet of the manger cradled babe of Bethlehem. Beginning with this old, old journey,the spirit of giving crept into the world’s heart. As the Magi came bringing gifts, so do we also; gifts that relieve want, gifts that are sweet and fragrant with friendship, gifts that breathe love, gifts that mean service, gifts inspired still by the star that shone over the City of David two thousand years ago.
Then hang the green coronet of the Christmas tree with glittering baubles and jewels of flame; heap offerings on its emerald branches; bring the Yule log to the firing; deck the house with holly and mistletoe,
“And all the bells on earth shall ring
On Christmas day in the morning.”