Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve: The Night Hope And Love Came Down

Christmas Eve has always held a sense of wonder and mystery for me, even in the days I spent far from God and my faith. I think many experience this feeling. People of faith know the reason for this feeling, those who have lost their faith, or perhaps never had it, may not know the reason.
There is much going on around the world these days that would seem to say or pose the question: Where is God? Our faith tells us, this night tells us, that in the fullness of time God sent His only Son. On that first Christmas He came, Hope and Love came down.
Since that first night and even long before it, the world has always experienced turmoil and it will continue to do so until Our Lord's return. But as we prepare to welcome our Savior this Christmas, we can be assured that He is always with us.
The poem, "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was written before the end of the Civil War in America. In the poem the poet writes the line: "God is not dead nor does He sleep." While there is no war being fought on our own soil, wars rage around the globe, and many of our young men and women will spend this Christmas fighting for our freedom and that of others. Let us remember them in our prayers and hold the hope, peace and love in our hearts that were born this night. Let us spread to those around us who need to know that God is not dead and He doesn't sleep.
Here is the musical version of Wadsworth's poem sung by Casting Crowns. You can read the story behind the poem by clicking the link on the poem's title above.
Have a Blessed Christmas!

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Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.