Be Merry. That's what our Christmas card says this year. I struggled with the phrase initially. I worried that it wouldn't read as a well-wish so much as a curt demand for cheer. But I believe in the sentiment and the gold, scripty letters didn't swirl in the way of any smiles so, in the end, I went with it.
Come to Earth to Taste Our Sadness
O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow
Grieving. Discouraged. Worn. Why would we sing of such states at the most wonderful time of the year? Because beyond the sentimentality of silver bells and sleigh rides, Christmas is about a thrill of hope for a weary world. The song continues:
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
The angel song. The first noel. "Fear not," the angel said, "I bring you good news of great joy."
The long, dark night was broken by the light of the angels, the light of the star, the Light of the World. The hopes and fears of all the weary years of waiting and longing were met in the baby in Bethlehem. The angel song is an invitation to find Him.
A babe who would one day know sorrow and face death. The babe born to taste our sadness to save us from sadness.
Come and Cheer
Christmas is the time to celebrate that in our devastated state, God reached down with a lifeline of hope. We rest and remember. Even when our own wounds of grief are raw and fresh, we remember that He came - and by His wounds, we are healed. When we question how God could love us in the midst of such pain and tragedy, we remember that He came - and suffered to save.
He came. Emmanuel.
And when the weariness of this world seems to be more than we can bear, we remember that He came - and is coming again!
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.