The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Thoughts with Zoe


December 25, 2019

Christmas is more than a family gift-giving holiday. When my mother passed away from cancer close to Christmas, my fear was Christmas would never be magically again, but as I pondered the birth of Christ that Christmas was more powerful than any other. These lyrics by Andrew Peterson from Labor of Love tell the real story! "It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground. You could hear a woman cry in the alleyways that night on the streets of David's town. The stable was not clean, and the cobblestones were cold, And little Mary full of grace with the tears upon her face had no mother's hand to hold."

"It was a labor of pain. It was a cold sky above, but for the girl on the ground in the dark with every beat of her beautiful heart, it was a labor of love."

"Noble Joseph at her side, callused hands, and weary eyes. There were no midwives to be found on the streets of David's town in the middle of the night, so he held her and he prayed. Shafts of moonlight on his face, for the baby in her womb, He was the maker of the moon. He was the author of the faith, that could make the mountains move."

So, it was a holy night. One of my mother's favorite songs was O Holy Night. I remember driving home for Christmas Eve Service with my family listening to Christmas music. When that song was played, she would say. "Oh, what a beautiful song." I remember Arliss Craig singing it in church. I cried, still do, with every chorus, "Fall on your knees!" I do fall to my knees within. Can you hear the music? Can you see the scene? Can you put yourself there?

"O holy night! The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."

"Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born; O night divine, O night, O night Divine."

"Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, here come the wise men from the Orient land. The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger; In all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, to our weaknesses, no stranger, Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend! Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!"

"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."

"Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever. His power and glory evermore proclaim. His power and glory evermore proclaim."

I'm hoping the gift we give each other this Christmas is to love one another as he taught us too. These are weary times.


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