Born on a New Day
- you love the idea of fun and festivity with family and friends?
- you like to create an eye-catching table and a delicious feast for guests?
- you want to counteract cold, dark weather with lights and sparkle?
- you enjoy making, shopping for, giving, and receiving presents?
- you feel a connection to the natural world and the beauties of winter?
- you long for an atmosphere of kindness and goodwill?
- you're awed and humbled by God's care for and intervention in our world?
- you're inspired to worship Jesus because of his humility and sacrifice?
There are probably other reasons I haven't thought of.
The point is, the holidays are supposed to mean something. They should be more than a date on the calendar, more than just another day spent in front of a screen, and more than a retailer's dream come true.
Whatever way you celebrate, if it gets you outside of yourself and the things that usually occupy your time and your mind, I think that's a good thing.
A turning point
I like to share a song each year for the holiday because for me, Christmas usually revolves around music. (Use these links to read posts about holiday music from 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018.) This year I've chosen "Born on a New Day." The text for this lovely song is by Philip Lawson, with a tune by John David.
Came down to us this day:
Christ, your birth has proved to me
You are the new day.
Angels watching in the sky
Whisper to you from on high
"You are the new day."
Hope has burned away;
Love, your ray of guiding light,
Show us the new day.
Leaving none, embracing all,
Fold around me where I fall,
Bring in the new day.
A turning point for everyone,
If we let the Christ-child in, and
Reach for the new day.
Healing sadness, ending strife;
You we welcome, Lord of life,
Born on a new day.
If you like, listen to a fantastic performance by The King's Singers.
Forget business as usual.
Maybe you're a Christian, as I am. If I really want to welcome the birth of the Christ-child, it's not enough to obey a set of rules or mentally agree to a set of beliefs. I need to behave not as if I'm a chosen, special person, but like the recipient of grace and forgiveness. I'm not especially worthy – I'm just like everyone else. So I need to extend to everyone else the kindness and self-sacrifice I've received from God. That might mean worrying a little less about my rights and including those who don't think exactly the same way I do.
The broadcasters and the retailers have their agendas, and I won't let them influence mine.
I pray that all of us can approach that turning point and learn a new way.
A blessed holiday to all of you!