"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Romans 8:35
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" Psalm 30:5
"Sleep in heavenly peace." Where is the peace in a world where innocent children are slaughtered and maniacs who go on shooting sprees are labeled as "mentally disturbed." "O little town of Bethlehem how still…" Yes, Bethlehem, the town now guarded by armed soldiers with automatic weapons, surrounded by ongoing fighting. Why not admit that there is evil in this world and innocent people suffer?
Much of what the world is going through right now is like it was when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the words to "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" in 1864. It seemed like the end of the world as our nation was divided, fighting against each other and so many men dying. He lost his wife in a terrible fire a few years prior and his son was severely wounded. However in the midst of it all he as able to pen these words, "God is not dead, nor dothe he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail…"
This Christmas I personally know people who are suffering from illness and the loss of loved ones. Countless other people are going through financial trouble, loneliness, and who knows what else. In our society many people tried to take Christmas out of the season or forgot why we celebrate December 25. It is in the midst of despair that it more important than ever to turn to God for comfort. It is during those times when we can't even utter a prayer that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. Romans 8:27 tells us He makes this intercession according to the will of God.
"Joy to the world, the Lord is come". Can you sing those words no matter what situation you might find yourself? You can have joy in sorrow because God promises in Psalm 147:3 "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds". The scar remains, but healing can begin and help to continue on despite what is going on around you.
The popular Christmas carols we sing tell of the birth of Jesus and often we gloss over the details we choose not to remember. It isn't popular to think of the manger scene as a loud, chaotic, smelly place. It was probable that the owners of the inn were taking care of their guests and had yet to take care of the animals. This is far from the image of "Silent Night" and a pristine, quiet winter night. God used the events of that night to send His only Son into the world.
How often do we sing "We Three Kings" without thinking of the aftermath of their visit? It is true that they came to worship Jesus but along the way they encountered a madman. After their visit, Herod afraid he would lose his throne ordered the death of baby boys two years old and younger.
There never was peace in this world and yet it is more important than ever to remember the birth of Jesus who came to save the world. As you hear or sing these familiar songs take a moment to remember Jesus who chose to come into this world. He is the one who will finally bring that long anticipated peace we so desperately desire.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: