Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas?

For those of you who read my title and thought I made a mistake...I did not. I meant to put a question mark instead of an exclamation point. Also, because I never do anything wrong(yeah, right!). :D

I wrote "Merry Christmas?" for the very reason that for the past week or so, or actually since the whole of America has been playing Christmas music since Thanksgiving Day, pushing Christmas presents, deals, sales, and one-of-a-kind-wheelie-gigs in our faces since October(it's true, and you know it), and at the same time reporting all kinds of slumps, bad economy, run-around-in-circles-screaming in panic-the-sky-is-falling; the thought of Christmas has held not the usual excitement for me.

Yes, I am still looking forward to it. The fun of presents, giving and receiving them. Singing carols, of fires, chilly walks, bright nights of a neighborhood decorated with festive lights everywhere. I am looking forward to it and I am cherishing it, like every year.

But -


I am a weary saint. I am a weary, weary saint....weary of the world's sad version of true joy, true despair over sin, true understanding of the Most High King made incarnate, the Son of God - born! Their understanding is disheartening to the Christian heart. It is no wonder that something hasn't seemed in place. Because if I can listen to 10 different versions of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"(my favorite) and instead of cheery smiles, it makes me melancholy.... yet singing this first line - "Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor, all for love's sake becamest poor" brings tears to my eyes - something is wrong. For all the "Merry CHRISTmases" I give out, for all the Christmas sermons I hear, for all the Christmas articles I read...the most common thought that I think is - "Oh, Father, I am so in need of You." I am so in need of my Savior. I am so in need of my King, to reign completely over this sinful, dirty, faithless heart. I am so in need of Him who loves and understands me completely. I am so in need of grace. I am that weary saint of sin, needing to rest wholly upon my Savior of Mercy.

I am stumbling around trying to convey what I mean here. I am doing a poor job. I am not here to discuss music opinions, I am here to say - the meaning of the words brings me to tears. Not just the meaning of - "Thou who wast rich becamest poor", but the overwhelming words - "all for LOVE's sake". All for love's sake for those who do not love him. Who love themselves more than Him Who gave all, and loves all, to those who love none. That sort of love we can never imagine. We can never understand fully, until we see the greatness of God, as we bow before His throne.

Something is missing - what is it? It's the simple quiet comfort of a Hope given to hopeless people. Hope. Light given to darkness. Joy given to the mourning and sorrowful. Life given to the dead. A King, born to save His people, driven solely on love, and desire to have a people who will work, wait, love, praise, joy in the relationship with Him. It blows my mind to even think about it...because I know better than anyone, save God Himself, how unworthy I am to be loved, how unworthy I am to be cared for, how unworthy I am to be blessed, to be given such a Gift. It is inconceivable to my weak heart. It is impossible to understand, it is perfectly and totally grace.
Undeserved grace and mercy. Undeserving Jean Marie receiving grace and mercy? Say-What?

It is Hope. It is Joy. It is Forgiveness made into a Baby, born to die for sinners. It is - One Who took solely over my sins, over the sins of His people, to bear them upon the cross, it is One Who came for me. It is the One who is Lord and King over all, Whose kingdom shall never end, nor shall He ever turn from His people. I would venture to say the strains of "please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents under the tree" now grow quite dim in light of that truth, wouldn't you?

So. I hope you understood what I tried to say through that awkward, rambling article. :) Merry Christmas? Yes. Merry, Merry, oh, precious day that Christ was born!!! Joyeux noel! Oh, Joyful Night! The day the Savior came to us! In grace, and with hope for a dead and hopeless people!

Joyeux noel...Oh, Joyous Night and Day and ever after may the Lord be praised by His people!
With thankfulness and praise for our King Jesus,
~ Jean Marie

"Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love's sake becamest poor.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Savior and King, we worship thee."
-- Frank Houghton (1894-1972)

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

"All for love's sake becamest poor" - How amazing! Great quote! Merry Christmas, Jean dearest!