Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gladsome Tidings

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echo back their joyous strains.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tiding be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing.
Come, adore, on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Jesus Lord of Heaven and earth.
Mary, Joseph lend your aid
With us sing our Saviors birth. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

This is what we celebrate at Christmas. 
This is what we remember. 
As the days of advent lead us through themes of waiting, mystery, redemption and incarnation, we are filled with a joyous expectancy of that which has come and that which is yet to come. 
It is an exciting, electric time of year. One of the few seasons of the year that is still filled with a kind of mythical magic....but this is even better, because there is truth to these legends! 
God became flesh and dwelt among us! 
This is the good news: Emmanuel, God With Us!

It is so easy to forget, though. Especially for us in more affluent societies. We get lost in the shopping, the travel, the decoration and the stress. 

We forget that all of this began very simply, when two thousand years ago, a young girl had a baby. It began with a birth. Humbly, in a stable. 

I encourage you then, fight to remember. Don't allow yourself to forget. 

May people ask of you, as they did the shepherds, 

Why this jubilee? 
Why is it that you sing so joyfully?
What could possibly be so great that you're singing such songs of hope, joy and wonder?

And when they do ask...and they will...may you be able to invite them to

Come to Bethlehem and see him whose birth I sing of.
Come and with me, let's bow and adore Him,
Christ, the Lord, the new born King.

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