For many folk Christmas 2019 is already past history. The family guests have come and gone. The gifts have been given and received, and all the frilly paper and ribbons tossed aside. The turkey, ham, or whatever, has seen its day—the “left-overs” gone at last! The Christmas tree and all the decorations are in the process of being stored away. Another Christmas has come and gone. Life moves back into normal gear. The “Christmas Spirit” that possessed us for a day or two is fading away. We are now focused on bringing in the New Year 2020.
Christmas is a season of twelve days on the Christian calendar—but Christmas is also the season of the heart. It is meant to be—all year long. We can still sing “Joy to the World,” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” but we don’t and we probably won’t until Christmas comes around again. We can still hear our own annunciation, we can still follow the Star, we can still find the Baby, and we can still give gifts but we have put all that aside. Another Christmas has come and gone.
“There must be always remaining in every man’s (woman’s) life some place for the singing of angels…” wrote Howard Thurman. “Despite all the crassness of life, despite all the hardness of life, despite all of the harsh discords of life, life is saved by the singing of angels.” The carol, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” speaks of this.
It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth…the world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing. Still through the cloven skies they come…and still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world; above its sad and lowly plains they bend on hovering wing, and ever o’er its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing….And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow…O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.
Christmas, with the singing of angels, is a season of the heart. Over all this weary world and all its Babel sounds, the angels sing all year long. So all of us, “beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow” must make every day a Christmas Day. “O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.”