Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Love Christmas

There are only a few days left until it is Christmas Eve, that holy night, that most holy of all nights. In a few days we will celebrate the night long long ago when the stars were brightly shining.  It was the night of our dear Savior’s birth.  Long had lain the world in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.  A thrill of hope, and the weary world rejoiced! For yonder broke a new and glorious morn.  Fall on your knees, and hear the angel voices! It was a night divine, when Christ was borne.  Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, let all within us praise his holy name! Christ is the Lord, let ever, ever praise we. (1)
Our Christmas story started with the trumpeting of angels.  “Glory to the newborn king!” They proclaimed. “Peace on earth, and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled.  Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies with angelic hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (2)
Their audience was a group of lowly shepherds, guarding their flock of sheep in a field.  While they watched their flock by night, far far away on Judea’s plains, those shepherds of old heard the joyous strains, “Glory to God! Glory to God! Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth good will toward men!”  Those shepherds followed the star and it led them to the newborn babe.  (3)
The shepherds found that precious newborn babe in the town of Bethlehem because of a requirement to pay a tax in the city of Joseph's lineage.  O that dear 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.  For Christ is born of Mary and gathered all above, while mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love.  O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth!  And praises sing to God the king and peace to men on earth! (4)
Those seeking Him found the precious baby in that city of Bethlehem where he lie in a manger, with no crib for his bed.  The little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head. The stars in the heavens look down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.  The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes. But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes. (5)
When the shepherds entered the manger, they found Joseph watching steadfastly over his wife Mary, and her newborn son.  The shepherds and Joseph watched Mary lovingly care for her newborn son, singing him sweet lullabies to soothe him back to sleep.  Silent night, holy night, all is calm. All is bright. Round yon virgin mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace! Sleep in heavenly peace. (6)
And as she lulled her baby back to sleep, the earth itself rejoiced.  Joy to the world! The Lord is come, let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare him room, while saints and angels sing.  Rejoice rejoice, when Jesus reigns, and Saints their songs employ! While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy! (7)
There was another group of righteous men who saw the star shining in the midnight sky, and understanding its meaning set out to seek the Christ child.  With wondering awe the wise men saw the star in heaven springing, and with delight in peaceful night they heard the angels singing, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to his name!” By light of star they travelled far to seek the lowly manger, a humble bed wherein was laid the humble little Stranger.  And still is found the world around the old and hallowed story, and still is sung in every tongue the angels’ song of glory! (8)
And that is our miraculous, beautiful story, of once upon a time in Royal David’s city when there stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed.  Mary was that mother mild, and Jesus Christ her little child.  It is our job to come all ye faithful!  Let us be joyful and triumphant!  O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem! Come and behold him, born the king of angels!  Let us sing with choirs of angels and let us sing in exultation!  Sing all ye citizens of heaven above,  “Glory to God, glory to God in the highest” - o come let us adore Him!  (9) (10)

... to be continued.
 
1. O Holy Night
2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
3. Far Far Away on Judea's Plains
4. O Little Town of Bethlehem
5. Away in a Manger copyright 1980 Rosalee Elser
6. Silent Night
7. Joy to the World
8. With Wondering Awe
9. Once In Royal David's City
10. O Come All Ye Faithful   
 
   (reposted from last year, from my talk in church on Christmas Day, with a few changes)

3 comments:

  1. I am getting so excited for Christmas! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved this talk. Good idea to post it. Missing you a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Merry Christmas to one and all!

    ReplyDelete