It's December and almost everyone I know is getting ready for Christmas. The shops are full of people buying cards and gifts. The roads are busy as people drive in and out of the city with bags of presents and boxes of decorations for their homes. Everyone is playing or singing carols.
Some versions of carols are bright and tinkly and some versions are dignified and choral. The tunes are the same: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and God Rest You Merry Gentlemen among others. And then there are songs. A friend sings one of them with glee: Merry Christmas, Everyone!
One of my favorite carols is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love the tune! I recently discovered that it was predated by an older song with a similar tune, from the fourteen hundreds, which entreated Christians in Latin and English to "in sweet shouting, now sing with hearts aglow!"
Later in the song, this earlier carol continues, "O that we were there!"
Those words made me stop and think. "O that I was there!" I've wondered for years what it was like to be Mary. If I close my eyes, I can imagine her story, her feelings as the light of an oil lamp flickered around the walls of the stable and across the feature of the baby in her arms.
And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
For a moment the bustle of the season fades. The endless list of things to do - cards to write and presents to wrap - doesn't seem so important. What was it like when Jesus was born? How did Mary feel? What did the shepherds see when they entered the stable in Bethlehem?
Take moment to celebrate your Savior's birth in your heart.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;O tidings of comfort and joy.
My name is Elisabeth Allen. I live in England with my parents and siblings. When not writing on my laptop, Clarissa, I love spending time with family and friends or reading, cooking, sewing, playing the guitar and working for a local interdemoninational ministry. A preacher’s kid and home-school graduate of Jewish and British heritage, I enjoy a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. I have a heart for ministry generally and discipleship specifically and a heart for young woman.
Elisabeth wanted to giveaway a copy of her wonderful book The Abolitionist! Enter below. Open to USA and England residents only.
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