The sky erupted this evening. Streaks of orange swept across the waning blue-gray sky out my back windows. Strangely framed by the huge dark trunks of our towering pecan tree and interrupted by leafless branches all across our yard, still the colors were magnificent.
Winter . . . shades of gray. Cold, dark. A constant chill in the air, sometimes echoing in our souls. Grief, sadness, struggles magnified by the bleakness around us. Overpowering to some, especially in parts of the earth where darkened hours far outweigh the light.
But today, I looked through the dark. Past the seemingly dead, leafless limbs. Ignoring the cold, I stepped into our back yard and gasped at the beauty beyond the decay around me. My soul rejoiced in a sky ablaze with the glory and splendor of a sunset unlike anything seen for months.
Oh God, isn’t that who you are? Streaking your glory and splendor across all the dim pockets of our lives. Speaking light into our darkness. Bringing beauty into winter. Sending Jesus into the frailty of humanity . . .
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Text: Christina G. Rossetti
Music: Gustav Holst
Heaven surely cannot hold our Savior. A Savior who comes into the bleak midwinter of any place we find ourselves. Bringing light. Setting our hearts ablaze with the glory and splendor of God’s presence. Giving us all we need. Bringing us to our knees in worship of the One the shepherds adored, the wise men sought, and the disciples followed. The One who will reign in any heart open to Him.
As the rush of the Christmas season is over, may we not focus on the bleakness of winter ahead. But rather, may we bask in the glow of God’s Light radiating far beyond ourselves and our circumstances. May we bow before the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ. And may each of us give Him our heart . . . our whole heart.
O come, let us adore Him.