In recent years the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem has become a particular favorite. The tune is quiet, even haunting, but it’s the words that have come to mean most:
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
The last line… how Christ meets us at the intersection of our hopes and fears…that touches the heart every time. Surely this is where we live, and just as surely, the love of God that shone from a manger in Bethlehem can brighten our hearts as well:
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.
Don’t let “meek” distract you; instead, hear “where humble souls receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” When we recognize that the source of hope, gladness, and grace comes from beyond ourselves, then we open our souls up to the only gift of Christmas that lasts: a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… a love that never ends. (1 Corinthians 13).
May the light and love of the Child of Bethlehem, the child who is no longer a child but the savior of the world, come anew into your life and into our world this Christmas.
Greg and Kathy