I never paid much attention to this song. I just figured it was another sappy Christmas tear-jerker that everyone wants to hear in or order to get their warm, fuzzy feeling, climaxing at the big flashy high note at the end.
However, it occurred to me that this song is about much more than a romanticized, irrelevant story--and so is Christmas more than that! It's about... the thrill of hope, the breaking in of a new and glorious morn, it's about a God who struggles with us--in all our trials born to be our friend. Jesus was not born to condemn the broken and save the "perfect"--he was born to befriend those who suffer, and to suffer himself: He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger. Wow.
There are many times I stop believing. Having faith is a constant struggle. But, this year, after sorting through the facts about who I am, I have begun to find great hope in my belief. When I imagine the reign of God, it is not some abstract theological concept that has nothing to do with me. It has very real implications. It's something about which I can vividly dream. It's something I can pray for and it's something I can fight for. It's a phenomenon that, at times like Christmas, I feel has already begun.
Everyone (I think) has a very real struggle--mine happens to be homosexuality. I now believe that until we accept that Christ can redeem and make beautiful whatever keeps us down, we will never know what a "new earth" may look like. May we all march toward that dream and find ourselves thrilled by hope this season.