Christmas Reflection (Sara Murphy)
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
It was Christmas Eve and everyone seemed to be joyfully anticipating Christmas morning, the arrival of the Savior
I was at a candle light carol service
but even my favorite carol, O Holy Night, couldn’t lift my mood.
I sang with tears streaming down my face
are the stars bright? This world seems pretty dark to me
Why I should celebrate Jesus’s birth?
Ever since I started working counseling youth
I had become acutely aware of the brokenness of the world
The thing about working with youth
is that it’s pretty clear that the things that have happened to them
are not their fault
they were born into families who didn’t know how to love them well
they suffered unbearable traumas
they had brains that worked in such a way that life was a lot more difficult for them than for the average person
and God is evidently allowing it all to happen.
The work of redemption that apparently began with Jesus’ arrival
is so far from completion
we are all walking wounded and broken-hearted through this world
Jesus’s birth started to seem like a non-event.
The beginning of something I’m being told
would one day be meaningful,
but right now made no real difference.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth
The soul felt it’s worth.
It is so hard to know our worth in this world
When the advertising industry does its best to tear us down
When our lives don’t follow a path that society deems valuable
When our relationships are full of conflict
When we feel powerless and alone
But if our soul could feel its worth,
That would make a difference
Yes the world is broken, yes we are wounded, yes we long for mercy…
But we have worth.
So much worth that God sent his Son to start the work of redemption,
so that one day the world will be whole and healed and full of joy.
Jesus will be a sign to you.
A sign that one day
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev 21:4).
A sign that we are precious to Him.
A sign that God is here, with us.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
Oh this world is so weary
In these short winter days with long long dark nights
It is so hard to believe that the light is coming
that there will be healing and salvation
But the Christmas story gives us a thrill of hope
A small brief glimmer of trust
that God’s work of redemption will someday be completed
So now we wait, a painful anticipation,
a longing for the day when things are made right.
Until then, we can rejoice in Christmas,
the sign that was given, the symbol of our worth,
the hope of redemption.
Because LOVE has to win, doesn’t it?
Otherwise what are we all doing here
walking around in this weary world
wrestling with the now and not yet of the Kingdom of God
trying to love each other the best our wounded souls know how
We must draw close to each other
so that when my glimmer of hope grows dim
your hope can hold space in the darkness for me
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.