Christmas time is a season in which you invite friends into your home to celebrate with you the greatest miracles of all, the Incarnation of our Lord! This blog is not my home, but it is, in a sense, a cozy room with a coffee table where I share with you, my friend, my journey. Today a special friend of mine, Elizabeth DeBarros, is sitting at this coffee table, would you like to grab a cup of coffee and join us?
Gifts We Bring
I stall. I look out of the window. Sometimes, wandering around the house affords me a glimpse beyond the horizon. I wait.
To distill into words the Incarnation of Christ does two things: Brings me to my knees and causes me to question whether I have what it takes to approach such mystery. Is this something of what it means to tremble? It’s no light matter to discuss the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Who is worthy of such a task? To pontificate over Deity come down is to tread upon holy ground, a place where even angels fear to go.
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
I Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
Indeed, He has come. The Promised One, in the form of a helpless baby, appeared before men, kings and angels under a Sovereign sky. Heaven and Earth rejoiced. Immanuel, God with us. The One who, for our sakes, descended among the ranks of flesh and blood and by whose account we may now approach.
But how? How do we approach?
We’re all little drummers boy at heart, eager to bring our finest gifts to lay before Him something worth. Even if it’s just a rum pum pum pum on our lowly drum, we long to give something that will please Him.
But if we examine ourselves aright, we have nothing to bring, in and of ourselves. We are all weak, vile creatures before this Holy One, this God who need. As it says,
“Who has ever given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?”
Romans 11: 35 (ESV)
He bids us to come, nonetheless. So we offer Him our yearnings and flailings of heart, reveailing our frail estate. We acquiesce to the fact that we are but dust. Our souls heave a sigh. Do we dare allow God to be God?- the One who renders a righteous judgment by convicting us of our need of Him, but here is where we must break: under the fragile yet unbending beauty that he doesn’t condemn us for our humanity, for He made us in His image.
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?”
Psalm 8:4 (ESV)
This is where God brings us face to face with our plight, our utter need for Him. And He spreads a table before us in the midnight fields of our desiring and feeds us with Himself.
This Advent season, there is something far more glorious to consider than how we might approach Him. Let us acknowledge that it is He Who first approached us. Then we may come, humble in spirit, bowing before Him in truth with gifts to bring.
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O might divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy Night, O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!
By Elizabeth DeBarros
The words and lyrics of the carol ‘O Holy Night’ were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realized that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams (1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).
Text and image of a Glorious Sky are property of © Elizabeth DeBarros.
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