“Long Lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared…”
What a contrast this Christmas season presents to us this year. Anywhere I look , I see the most beautiful, serene snowfall I can ever remember seeing. The huge flakes float from the silk gray clouds against a backdrop of bare trees, an empty barn ,and open fields. The hush is surreal, it seems holy as does the pure white background which puts the bare trees in stark relief.I am living in a setting out of a Robert Frost poem.*
Yet in spite of the beauty and serenity of God’s Creation, the sheer ugliness of a fallen world asserts itself. What dominates the news this past week is the media celebration of the removal of a barrier to acceptance of an abominable perversion, the repeal of the military policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
DADT was an accommodation to our previous zero tolerance policy towards homosexuality, which has been swept aside entirely, in the rush to create a new (godless) society, by eradicating every tradition, value and institution of the old Judeo Christian society. This week those who hate God celebrate!
Pat Buchanan had the money quote of the month or perhaps the year,
“A Democratic Congress, discharged by the voters on Nov. 2, has as one of its last official acts, imposed its San Francisco values on the armed forces of the United States.”Don’t ask, don’t tell” is to be repealed. Open homosexuals are to be welcomed with open arms in all branches of the armed services.Let us hope this works out better for the Marine Corps than it did for the Catholic Church.Remarkable. The least respected of American institutions, Congress, with an approval rating of 13 percent, is imposing its cultural and moral values on the most respected of American institutions, the U.S. military.”(http://www.theamericancause.org/ Christian Rout in the Culture War- Pat Buchannon)
As if they could eradicate thousands of years of civilisation, as if by fiat, “Let there be a civil society without marriage, christianity, and the sacredness of life!” How do they think this will end?
I am grieved for our sin sick, morally and spiritually exhausted society, I can see the death and decay all around me, I won’t burden you by reminding you how depraved, vicious and cowardly our political leaders are, or by the fact that a murderous death cult-Islam, holds the allegiance of one out of seven people in the world, and is hell-bent on kick starting Armageddon.
So the beautiful Currier and Ives scene outside my window belies the terrible judgments and trials that this world is hurtling towards. Even if our society becomes so reprobate that it can’t see what is wrong with homosexuality, (though even by public health standards, it ought to be outlawed), God doesn’t change! He hates it. The author of marriage will not allow a society to so degrade marriage. He who made man in His Image will not allow this debasement of man to go on for long!
But I remember, that this is the kind of world He came into the first time. Sin sick, brutal,degraded, slave-owning, jaded, and exhausted, led by depraved men who didn’t fear any God, who actually deified themselves, the world was indeed a “weary world” as the carols portray.
Bethlehem is the coming of Heaven’s purity into a filthy world. Where was He born? In a filthy stable, a place where animals were kept. Joseph cleared a place in a virtual cave, swept away the straw and manure, laid down his pregnant wife, the virgin Mary, through whom Jesus was born into the world.
“Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light, the Hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight…”
The coming of Jesus into this dark world, polarises every person ; either one is like the Inn, or the stable. Those who are like the Inn, will not receive Jesus into their hearts, they reject God’s gift of Love, forgiveness and reconciliation. Perhaps like our modern hotels, they think they are clean enough and need not to be cleansed by God’s Son.
Those who are as the stable, know they are dirty, and full of manure, germs, vermin, and what ever else dwells in filth. But they know also that God will clear away the straw, the offal, in short the deep sin that has accumulated, Jesus is willing to come into the heart that will receive Him.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:10-13)
As the Carol Writer put it so beautifully:
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
Merry Christmas Everybody!