Songs of Praise: Let Us Adore and Fairest Lord Jesus
Scripture: John 1:1-5 (NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
We all need this reminder more often than not. This has been a strange year, and part in parcel, a strange Christmas. Perhaps we better than ever identify with the lonely, uncomfortable, displaced, missing friends and family, Mary and Joseph. And yet, there is maybe also an invitation to allow the joy of Jesus to overwhelm us and melt what is frozen or freezing up in each of us.
We close our quiet Christmas morning worship with these encouraging words penned over 75 years ago at the close of WWII. They are as sturdy, kindly pastoral to us as they certainly were to a world trying to rebuild itself after all kinds of trouble:
“If we today in the midst of a time of world struggle wish to celebrate Christmas properly, then two things dare not happen. First, we dare let the joy of Christmas be corrupted by thoughts about the horrors of the present time and by anxiety about the still greater ones that may yet come. Then the devil would have gained what he wants. With a Christianity that has no more joy in its heart he has an easy game. The only thing that he really fears are those who carry the real joy of Christmas in their heart. For against them he is powerless. All evil thrives only in joylessness…
The second thing, however, is just as important: that we are not sucked into an artificially Christmas joy, that so-called Christmas joy which is gone two days after Christmas, which lasts about as long as the candles we burn on the Christmas tree… dear friends, we wish to have, if I may so express it, a solid Christmas joy, not just a little candlelight with a Christmas tree fragrance, but a storm lantern that does not go out even when it is blown upon from all sides.”
- I Believe in the Living God: Sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Emil Brunner, 1945.
HCCC, FCC, and friends,
May we come to know, from the tip of our head to the bottom of our new Christmas sock wrapped toes: the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Because of Jesus, may we become a storm lantern of inextinguishable joy for a banged up world to see. Amen!