Are You Merry this Christmas?

Christmas lights - NativityChristmas lights - Nativity

As we enter the last week of Advent and close in on the Feast of Christmas, the Church prepares herself for the coming of Christ!  What a glorious time in our church year!  Our dreams of the perfect Christmas as defined by the world will come up short 99% of the time, but if we are looking instead, to preparing our hearts as if we were about to meet the Son of God, how can we go wrong?  The Son of God is the Redeemer of the World, our Advocate for Mercy, our Friend, our constant companion in Spirit — as Emmanuel.  THIS IS EXCITING!  THIS IS RADICAL!  IT IS OURS to grab onto!

GOD IS WITH US!   GOD IS REAL!  GOD IS LOVE!  GOD IS IN CHARGE ABOVE ALL!  How do we respond to such great news that the angels and shepherds and wise men proclaimed?  It is just like the world hints at all around us — BELIEVE, says Macy’s!  SPARKLE, says the downtown partnership!  SING, says the music piped in every public place! DECORATE your heart out, say neighborhoods and market places everywhere! LIGHT UP your house, your yard, your car even!  But whatever you do, LIGHT UP YOUR HEART WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST!  This anyone can do.  How?  Just by receiving His Love.

Receiving is not as easy as it sounds! you say?  We have our pride, you know.  There’s the problem of doubt.  Then there’s that old “friend,” unworthiness.  And well, then there’s this one last teenly little thing in the way — we are not used to receiving!  So we may not really know how to go about it, even if we want to.  It is not easy to receive, these days, it’s true.  But we can all do it — ONE LITTLE BIT OF LOVE AT A TIME.  Test it out, right now.  Try this little exercise with me:

Keep it simple.  Just BREATH  in LOVE, hold it for a second… and now breathe it out to SHARE it!  Do it a few more times.  No one in sight?  Let the room fill up with Love, then.  The God of the universe is as close as our breath and indeed, His mighty Spirit resides quietly within each of us.  It is the mark of the creator – like His signature.   You and I connecting it to the AMAZING GOOD NEWS in the BIRTH OF CHRIST is do-able.  If you have never felt loved, it is still there.  You’ll never pick up a gift if you always think it is for somebody else, not you.  Dare to BELIEVE this Christmas.  Your name is all over God’s gift in Jesus!  Breathe in LOVE and even if it is just a little — let your heart radiate the Light!  Christ was born for this!*

one candle in darknessone candle in darknessone candle in darkness

Good Christian Men, Rejoice (traditional German carol)

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice.
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today.
Ox and lamb before Him bow, and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today, Christ is born today.

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss, Joy! Joy! He was born for this! He was born for this!
He hath opened the heavenly door, and man is blessed evermore.
*Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice.
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace!
Jesus Christ was born to save. Calls you one and calls you all to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save! For Christ is born today!

Text: Traditional German Carol
Music: Traditional German Carol