Normally I am not a fan of the fall season changing-of-the-clocks. It messes with my sleep pattern for what seems like months, and really, who wants darkness in the winter before 5 p.m.? This year’s “fall-back,” though, has brought a welcome surprise. I am actually now waking before sunrise on most days…well rested and able to enjoy the peaceful hours of pre-dawn and observe the first glorious rays of the sun as it peeks through the trees and reflects on the creek below.
Today was no exception, and on this morning as I was treated to the first rays of pink and gold, the line from my favorite Christmas carol came to mind so clearly:
…a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn….
As I reflected on the familiar Christmas story, I was reminded that it is the hope behind the story that brings the greatest joy.
I love that God didn’t send his only son to be raised by earthly royalty, but… to a blue-collar worker-a carpenter, who by trade takes blank pieces of wood and crafts them into beautiful works for art or service. As for his mother, a soon to be common housewife, who humbly and lovingly spends her days looking to the needs of her family.
I love that His birth wasn’t in the cold, sterile, marble halls of a palace, but in a stable, where the sweet smell of warm hay mingled with the less desirable smells of nature …bringing him into the world as close to the common earth as it gets.
I love that in his earthly lineage, as recorded in His genealogy by Matthew, is not only nobility but a reformed pagan, Ruth, as well as a prostitute, (gasp!) Rahab…foreshadowing the redemptive power of God’s love to even the most looked-down-upon among us.
…long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth…
And finally, I love that his birth was first announced to common shepherds and not aristocrats ….that a star broke through the darkness signalling not only His birth but the greatest hope into hopelessness the world had ever seen.
Until next time, may His hope eternal bring you and yours the peace and joy found in this blessed birth.