A Weary World Rejoices

I love the day after Thanksgiving.


It's not Black Friday. I hate shopping. Nothing says holiday magic quite like the first Walmart trampling of the season.

Its not the even Apple Cup.  The Friday after turkey-day has become the annual date for the big cross-state football rivalry.  Covid claimed it this year.  But in most years its a ho-hum affair with my Huskies dominating.  Always fun - but a bit predictable.

I love the day after Thanksgiving because it is the day Anita finally allows me to start listening to Christmas music on the radio.  I would listen to it year round.  But she claims it is a horrible violation of some unwritten rule if carols are heard before the Friday after the feast.  

I love almost all Christmas music.  With one exception.  "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" may be the worst song ever written.  It is horrible musically, lyrically, and the vocal stylings of "artists" Elmo and Patsy are an affront to even the worst novelty musician.

I do have a favorite song.  O Holy Night.  And I didn't have to wait long to hear it this year.  It came on my radio yesterday.

Familiarity has a way of causing lyrics to drift to the background, almost becoming white noise. If you hear a song enough times, it is possible to sing along without ascribing any meaning to its words.  Perhaps that is why I was so surprised by how I responded as I sang along.

Anita claims I sing in the car too much.  She is wrong.  I sing the appropriate amount.  As I was singing along to O Holy Night I was startled when I came to the lyric, "A weary world rejoices".

A Weary World

I've sung that line a thousand times, but this time I paused, overcome with emotion.  I hurt for our weary world.  2020 has been a year of pain.  It has been marked by separation from loved ones.  Many have lost their jobs.  It has been 12 months of vitriol spewed on riotous streets, and on poorly thought out tweets.  It has been a year marked by fear, worry, and anxiety for many.

This year has been exhausting.

Weariness zaps energy.  It is hopelessness plus time.  But the song does not terminate with weariness.  Thank you, Jesus.

A weary world...


Jesus signals the end of weariness.  His arrival two-thousand years ago was a start of a new exodus. The final exodus.  Just as Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, Jesus' birth in Bethlehem marked beginning of freedom from the captivity of everything that has kept us from realizing full, complete life.

My favorite verse from my favorite Christmas song is this:

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease. 


It Doesn't End With Rejoicing

Jesus is changing everything.  And he wants us to be his agents and ambassadors in revealing His Kingdom to this world right now.  The carol reminds us that we as His people are guided by an overarching "law of love" that extend grace, kindness, and mercy even to those who are our enemies.   The good news we are called to disseminate is "Peace".

He breaks chains.  He ends oppression.  And we are called to join Him in this effort.

Voices of condemnation are all around.    Sadly the church has sometimes joined this ugly chorus. But as God's people can we work like never before to be a different kind of voice in the world this year?  Can we let our hope-filled faith guide every interaction  we have with the world?  

The world needs to see a rejoicing people who put their hope into action. Loving the least, last, and lost. The church is called to be that people.

Christ the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
   His power and glory evermore proclaim.
   His power and glory evermore proclaim. 

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