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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: Christmas Hymn Meditation

So many musicians and poets have written about Christmas I want to say to them, Were You There On That Christmas Night?  Their words prove that they must have been in some sense.  The group of words that follows is an actual Christmas hymn.  Let them unlock the secrets of Christmas for you.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, we look for the everlasting light shining in dark streets.  It’s been Two Thousand Years Since Bethlehem.  We pray for a Silent Night, a holy night which transforms us, which is all about Jesus, no longer about us.

In The Bleak Midwinter it does feel dark, and snow on snow can bring us down.  But Away In A Manger, that tiny Christchild changes everything.  We want to hear the message of angels , like It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, but all we hear is stress, stress, stress as we tend our sheep and try to keep on the frantic merry go round of all that Christmas can bring.

I Wonder As I Wander out under the sky how Jesus the savior came to die for me.  Perhaps it does begin with silence.  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.  Somehow we must See Him, Lying On A Bed of Straw, and be able to accept the simple gift of salvation with Meekness and Majesty.

It was a long way from here, Away in A Manger, no crib for his bed, that the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing of peace on earth and good will to men.  Mary Had A Baby which was to change our world forever.

I wonder if Mary knew all the ramifications of what was going to happen when the Angels We Have Heard on High sang gloria in excelsis deo (translated glory to God in the highest) that this was going to be a day in which God really came to earth.  Mary, Did You Know that one day your child would walk on water, bring sight to a blind man, be the face of God?

I suspect she, like us, knew some of it.  After all, the Carol At The Manger was to be written about her and Joseph as well as Jesus.  The Hands That First Held Mary’s Child would be full of love.  Now Jesus’ hands hold us.

This Christmas, O Come All Ye Faithful, to the manger once again.  Let us rejoice  in God’s Love Made Visible.  Love Came Down at Christmas, and we have been discovering the results of that prayer of old, the one For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed.  As With Gladness Men of Old, let us draw near to see that Sweet Little Jesus Boy, and rejoice in The Birthday of A King.

O, How Joyfully we must come to the manger and celebrate this Christmas!  Perhaps we can gather with Christians all across the world on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  On Christmas Night All Christians Sing of salvation, of Joy to the World, of the Lord which makes our feet want to move with joy, the Lord Of The Dance.

O What A Wonderful Child which came to fill the earth with joy and faith!  We are not there yet, and many have yet to believe.  Good Christian Friends, Rejoice, for God is still working the magic of Christmas every day.

Because that once Hidden Christ, Alive Forever, is our Savior, we can walk with him on a daily basis and Sing a Song of Bethlehem and the place where we live with Jesus.  Because He Is Born, we can say, My Soul Proclaims with Wonder the greatness of the Lord.

It has been Two Thousand Years Since Bethlehem, and God’s glory and greatness have never faded.  Whether we see him Lying On A Bed of Straw, or as the Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,  that Star Child is Lord of Lord and King of Kings forever!

Lights and candles in the window this time of year can remind us of the Light In The Stable where Jesus was born and the holy family gathered to receive the shepherds and all those who wanted to see the newborn Savior.

The First Noel the angels did say was to reassure shepherds who wondered what in the world what was going on.  “Noel” is the French word for Christmas.  May noel ring in your heart this Christmas more than ever.  

It was indeed a special night.  The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came.  O Holy Night,  the stars are brightly shining!  Can you actually believe it?  God’s Love Made Visible?

Yes, God’s gift of Christmas must affect us.  It must be a mixture of Meekness And Majesty,  a chance to see O How Joyfully we lift our songs of praise to heaven.

For Christmas is drawing near.  All Earth is Hopeful, the Savior comes at last.  Furrows lie open for God’s creative task.  Let the holy activity of God find you Awake! Awake, and Greet The Morn God made for you so that every day becomes Christmas. 

A blessed Christmas to you all!