Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Reflections and a gift

It's a cold night in Rome. I went to midnight Mass at St. Peters but left early because it was too cold to stay outside. I almost lost sight of it there; almost lost sight of the reason we celebrate Christmas. I got caught up in the cold and the frustration of being in a big city, got caught up in the ceremony and the Pope as a rock star, got caught up in even the beauty and grandeur of it. But God is gracious. He steps in and reminds, gently, of what Christmas is all about.

O Come, let us adore Him. This baby, born amidst the animals, born and laid into a feed manger, born amidst the squalor to a poor, working class guy and his fiancee, is the one who is worthy of our adoration. This baby, whose heralds were both great and small, star and shepherd, women and wise men... this baby is the King of Kings. Is the long awaited Savior, the one to bring a deliverance from a more demanding master than Rome, from a master that wars for the soul. This baby, God in flesh, God clothed in the most undivine clothing of a weak and helpless babe, is the ONE to bring peace on earth, peace in men's hearts.

Hosanna in the highest! The angels couldn't hold back from belting out a song of celestial joy. The wise men drop to a knee, the shepherds reach out with rough calloused hands to stroke the soft cheek of the baby and then sit back an marvel, wonder in their eyes. Joseph stand protectively by, exhausted and confused but remembering his dream and knowing that his adopted son's entrance into the world confirms that this angel who appeared was not just his imagination. And Mary files away the memories with a worn out, contented look on her face, not even minding the smell of the shepherds.

O Come, all ye faithful and adore Christ the Lord! The sacrificial Lamb of God who was born to take away the sin of the world. Kneel before Him, for he alone is worthy of the adoration. Joy to the world! Hosanna in the highest! Amen.

I pray that this Christmas music will bless you this day. It is worth the download even if only for the version of Joy to the World.

1 comment:

Kim Haring said...

Hi Chris, you're such the world traveller now. Love your pictures and story. Praying God will help you finish strong. It must be bittersweet to be on the home stretch. Lots of us Ohioans will be glad to see you back in Columbus if that's the plan. Just wanted to say hi. We're off to dinner at your Mom and Dad"s! Love, Kim Haring