December 28, 2009
“Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom:
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in stone cold tomb…”
- “We Three Kings of Orient Are” by John H. Hopkins,
I have always loved the carol “We Three Kings of Orient
Are.” The words of each and every verse are powerful, expanding
our understanding of who Christ is.
But I admit, my voice always catches as I sing the fourth verse,
noted above. Its poignancy throbs through every word, carrying
a blast of bone-chilling air from a rock-hewn tomb, and the memory
of a bloody cross.
And that is a good thing to remember. Amidst the peppermint candy
canes, the sweet scent of the evergreens, the piles of gifts, and
the joyful comings and goings of friends and family, take a moment
to remember. Remember why this celebration is happening. The Incarnation,
the Birth, the Noel was just the beginning. Jesus was born as a
babe only so that he could die as a man on a cross.
- Do you ever
have trouble connecting the Babe in the manger with the Savior
on the cross? If so, why?
- How would you explain Christmas to
someone who didn’t
understand the significance of the holiday?
- What physical object
can you use to help remind you during the Christmas season of
why Jesus came? (i.e., a thorn, a nail, a rough piece of wood)