Not all Christmas hymns are carols. That musical form came from a French musical style developed for dancing. We have to delay singing these Christmas themed carols and hymns because the lyrics don’t match the Advent themes. Instead of watching and waiting at Christmas tide, we’re proclaiming and celebrating.
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is Rossetti’s “In the bleak mid-winter.” (Hymn 112) Gustav Theodore Holst, who is best known for his masterwork The Planets, put the poetry to music.
Rossetti presents us with a children’s hymn with a description of winter that is bone chilling. The search for the proper present to give Jesus is resolved with a gift everyone can give-the heart.
Christianity is at its core a conversion of the heart. That conversion leads us away from self-satisfaction to serving others and is a means of experiencing God at work in the human family.
Recently I noticed a note placed in a full-page advertisement by a paper products manufacturer in the Wall Street Journal. A victim of human trafficking wrote it.
I always thought no person on this planet would ever love me andthat I was worthless in the eyes of everyone around me. But when I started to love myself, flaws and all, I was able to recognize the love and compassion in others. Peace, Asia Graves
The journey to self acceptance and forgiveness is God’s ultimate call to all of us. Imagine if all those in decision making positions world wide found their own heart and gave it as a gift at the cradle of Jesus, the newborn. Try reading this hymn as a prayer and imagine all those you love, as gift givers. The simplest gift of all is the most expensive too.