“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old…”
A week from tonight, Santa will be on his way. Churches will open their doors. Children in pj’s will squirm beside their parents. Old carols find new harmonies. A baby will be placed in a manger. Candles will be lit.
“A weary world rejoices…”~O Holy Night
Most of us know those first verses by heart. Fewer of us know the verses that follow. Many churches today only sing the first verse and then repeat a phrase or two as the band ramps up and people rejoice. And yet – many carols have so much more to say about this “glorious impossible”.
“Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.”
Such a gift this night. Angels sang and a new star appeared in the sky. But while it is important – it is just the opening of a new portal. Open the eyes and see. Listen. There is a knock. Open the ears and hear. He’s here. Love has come. Open hearts to receive. Open the doors and feel His Spirit move within.
“…And yet, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,”
When the oppression is too strong to lift the head..when the gravity and pain of choices overwhelms…when the feet feel like lead and steps are few and far between…when the mind reasons that all is lost…it is the songs that point the way beyond the dark, smelly stable. The “glorious impossible” in totality.
“For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophet seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold
When Christ shall come and all shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And saints shall meet Him in the air,
And with the angels sing.”~It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
Keep singing – not just one verse, but all the verses of the songs that He brought to that stable so long ago and offered to men of good will. The first verse points to the promises fulfilled. The later verses point to the promises yet to be. The “glorious impossible” was and is and is to come. To quote the Carpenters: “Sing. Sing the song. Make it simple to last your whole life long…”
(I know – it is not a carol, but sometimes my mind wanders, and I just have to laugh at where it leads – after all – IT’S ONLY 7 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS) [google image/Degrazia artwork]