By Kevin Payne, Palmerdale UMC
The popular Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” proclaims in its third stanza: “How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given; so God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.”
That is a powerful proclamation to us today, especially with regard to how divided we seem to be in our nations over so many different things.
We are divided politically. We are at odds socially. We are angry and afraid; hurt and wounded.
With such with such fear and anxiety are wondering what do we do? How does this end? What is the solution?
Hence, the words of this Christmas carol that comes from the promise of God’s Holy Word.
There is evil in this world. No amount of legislation, or procedures, or political alliances can keep evil from occurring.
We are quick to ask where God is when we are faced with mind-blowing tragedy. Remember the events of 9/11 and how everyone flocked to church in the weeks that followed? Remember Sandy Hook and the search for understanding? We will remember these days, and, sorrowfully like so many before and since. We will remember but never understand.
But that is where God is. God does not will this to happen. God does not cause such to happen. God gives us free-will to choose to do good or evil, right or wrong, righteousness or unrighteousness. Evil exists because we choose the evil over the good.
But there is hope! In a manger, in a little town, in silence and obscurity, the Christ was born. God the Father sent God the Son so that the blessings of God’s heaven could be brought to earth—imparted to our hearts. We have a Savior! The way things are, are not they way they are meant to be; and God has come to do something about it!
That is the true gift of Christmas. We have one who has been born for us, as one of us, to show us the way to the Father. We have the blessings of heaven in our lives today, even in times such as these. We have a hope, a promise, a faith that proclaims, “Joy to the World, the Lord HAS come!”
When we have days where our questions, fears, and doubts threaten to overtake us, we remember and rejoice because we have Christmas. We have the gift of the Christ, the Savior and ultimate Lord of all Creation. We have an eternal promise that even in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.
May the Christ enter into your hearts and lives this Christmas, and everyday. No matter what we face, the Christ has entered in! Merry Christmas!