In The Bleak Midwinter

(BLOGMAS DAY 8)

We had our church carol service last night, and it was so lovely.

We all stood in the church garden, bundled into our coats and mittens and wrapped in scarves to keep out the biting wind. The kids cracked glow bracelets; the adults sipped mulled wine. The garden was packed and people spilt out onto the street; the whole place was lit up, not just by the pretty twinkle lights but by the sounds of our voices floating into the night.

Towards the end of the service, we turned on the snow machine and the foamy ‘flakes’ floated down and covered us in white. We all sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas together, and then it was over. People left quickly, eager to get back to their warm homes, their Sunday dinners and their televisions. The musicians packed up, we moved the sound system back inside and collected the mince pie wrappers, and I was left standing in an empty garden in the dark.

The carol service was over, and a part of me felt like Christmas was too.

Except it wasn’t, because Christmas has never really been about the feeling… it’s about something much, much greater.

Deep down, at the heart of Christmas, is the answer to a promise. A promise that God made that would one day send someone who would make all of the mess in the world right again. And 2000 years ago, in the bleak midwinter, in a stable in Bethlehem, God answered that promise. He sent a baby; a baby that was to be king but born without a crown.

He wasn’t born in a palace but in the only room available.

There was no doctor, just some cows and sheep.

The first visitors were not royalty, they were shepherds and travellers.

But that baby was the answer to the promise, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

In the bleak midwinter

Frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron

Water like a stone

Snow had fallen

Snow on snow on snow

In the bleak midwinter

Long, long ago

What can I give him?

Poor as I am

If I were a shepherd

I would give a lamb

If I were a wise man

I would do my part

But what I can I give him

Give him my heart

Give him my heart

It was as we sang these beautiful verses last night that the true meaning of Christmas hit home for the first time this year. I realized that I had been so busy and rushed lately that I hadn’t made time to sit and dwell on what we were really celebrating. I had been so caught up in the holiday season that I forgot how Christmas isn’t really about the lights and the food and the gifts.

No, it’s about how, in the dead of night, Jesus made his entrance into the world, even though no one was watching. He came ever though it was messy and broken and even though it hated him. He came even though he was perfect and we were far from it. He came for the wanders, the lost and the lonely, the hopeless and the broken. He came to take away our sin, to fix and restore our mess and our brokenness. He came not expecting anything of us, knowing there was nothing we could offer him.

My prayer this holiday season is that I would not forget the beauty of what Christmas is truly about. I pray that I would not get so caught up in the things of this world that I would lose focus on Jesus Christ this season. I pray that I would not become so entangled in the present that I would forget what happened that very first Christmas, long, long ago.

Published by Megan

Hey there! I'm Megan, creative lifestyle blogger. I love Jesus, iced coffee, Pinterest, and all things creative! My message is that there is no such thing as perfect and that we can't live our lives chasing perfection because we will never find something that satisfies us as much as life in Jesus does. I aim to inspire people to find their own not-so-perfect and embrace who they are. I blog at notsoperfectblog.com where I share my ideas for creative, free living! Feel free to visit my blog and have a look around!

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