Saturday, December 25, 2010
A Peaceful Night
I like Christmas night . . . after the services are over, thinking back over the past two days, the words, the music, the meaning . . . relaxing and enjoying the day. I tried to stay up for the Vatican's midnight mass last night, but couldn't make it.
This year the day is not quite so peaceful, however. For tomorrow is Sunday and there is the Divine Service to be ready for. I was not quite done, so still some work to do. Then also traveling to see family right after the service, and so getting the kids packed and ready to go, organizing, loading. Oh, and did I mention my wife is working tonight? Oh, and did I mention it's supposed to snow tomorrow, starting at daybreak, and that we'll be driving into it as both our van and the storm travel north? It's gonna be a looong day tomorrow . . . so even though the "5-hour energy" drink is one of the vilest tasting things on earth, I'll chug one after the Divine Service to keep me going as I drive, as my wife sleeps in the back seat, as the kids bounce off the walls of the van with excitement, and as the snow blankets the road!
See ya' Friday when we get back!
But I must say, despite all that awaits tomorrow, it's still Christmas, and Christ is born! Our services were small (my folks mostly go away for the holidays) but good, as we rejoiced in the birth of the Lord.
I leave you, then, with one of my favorite Christmas hymns, by Paul Gerhardt:
O Jesus Christ, Thy manger is
My paradise at which my soul reclineth.
For there, O Lord, Doth lie the Word
Made flesh for us; here in Thy grace forth shineth.
He whom the sea And wind obey
Doth come to serve the sinner in great meekness.
Thou, God's own Son, With us art one,
Dost join us and our children in our weakness.
Thy light and grace Our guilt efface,
Thy heav'nly riches all our loss retrieving.
Immanuel, Thy birth doth quell
The pow'r of hell and Satan's bold deceiving.
Thou Christian heart, Whoe'er thou art,
Be of good cheer and let no sorrow move thee!
For God's own Child, In mercy mild,
Joins thee to Him; how greatly God must love thee!
Remember thou What glory now
The Lord prepared thee for all earthly sadness.
The angel host Can never boast
Of greater glory, great bliss or gladness.
The world may hold Her wealth and gold;
But thou, my heart, keep Christ as thy true treasure.
To Him hold fast Until at last
A crown be thine and honor in full measure.
[LSB #372 (c) 1941 Concordia Publishing House]