Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"Joy to the World, the Lord has come!
Let Earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room
and heav'n and nature sing!"

Last night, as I related the story of The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson to sweetie (who had never heard it), I started to cry. For those not familiar with the tale, the Little Match Girl is poor and has to sell matches all day in the cold. She doesn't dare go home before they are all sold, because her father will beat her.

She is cold and hungry and snow is falling as the day turns to night, and she watches as folks pass her by - dressed in their warm clothes, going into their warm houses to eat plentiful meals. To stay warm, she lights a match and imagines what it must be like to be inside a warm home. She lights another match. She imagines a beautiful dinner, a lovely Christmas tree - and then she sees a shooting star, and remembers that her now-dead grandmother said a shooting star means someone is dying and their soul is going to heaven.

You know where this is going, right?

She lights a match and has a vision of her grandmother. She lights match after match, seeing her grandmother and feeling the warmth of that great love...until she runs out of matches and dies and her grandmother takes her soul to heaven, where she will never be cold again.

In the morning, the watchman finds the little match girl's body frozen in the snow with a little pile of burnt matches. The people who had uncaringly passed her by the day before are filled with pity.

After drying my tears, sweetie told me, "perhaps you weep so easily at Christmas because the joy of the season points out the harsh side of life in stark relief."

I think he may be onto something. Today, I rejoice at sharing the news of my Saviour - and if tears come I will note when and why, and make the circumstance an opportunity for service!

A very blessed Christmas to all!