Chalet LAbri, December
A page from my journal...acg
child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
watch are keeping?"
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste, to
bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary."
In his 1978 Christmas sermon, What Child is This? Ray Stedman tells us the question is answered best in the first four verses of the Epistle to the Hebrews:
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past
to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things,
through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding
all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4, NJKV)
The phrase that most intrigues and sustains me is that Jesus is upholding all things by the word of His power. Old Testament prophets and the Gospel writers tell us that the Lord Jesus was with
God in the Creation. The Child who lay in Marys lap was Himself the Creator of
our vast universe with its teeming millions of galaxies spaced thousands of light years apart.
This Babe in Bethlehems manger controls planets in their paths through space but also manages and directs all other
forces and powers physical, social, psychological, and spiritual. Here is Jesus Himself, come forth from the grave, appearing
to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee, speaking simply: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18). Here are scientists with their two-mile long atom smasher at Stanford Universitys
Linear Accelerator trying to pry the lid off the secrets of matter discovering worlds within infinitesimal worlds: atoms,
neutrons, protons what next?. They find a complexity never dreamed of and talk
of a mystifying cosmic glue that holds things together. Here is Paul writing to the Colossians: all things are held together by Him. Here is Ray Stedman: If you want a name for the force that holds the universe together it is very simple
Jesus. What Child is This?: The
Lord God of the Universe, no less.
What assurance to ponder again the meaning of Christmas and know viscerally that all this is true: belief in this Child on Marys lap and belief in Him alone is the key to the
very meaning of life.
How silentlymy world
awaits the first snowfalland thoughts of how that most Wondrous Gift of all was given.
Soon another year will have passed into history. As winter arrives the
tall pines fronting the chalet retain their evergreen boughs while oaks, maples, tulip poplars, and redbuds surrounding the
place have gone into hibernation. The pines stand sentinel that my world will
be green again with the March and April resurrection. Until then, I can sing
the song of a soul set free of gloom in the face of all the worlds dismal forebodings, knowing this Babe, the Son of Mary,
is my Savior, Lover, Companion, and Friend now and everlastingly. The lyrics
of a song learned long ago resonate deep within: My God is Real, Real in my Soul, My God is Real, for He has washed and made me whole..