In The Bleak Midwinter…That Wasn’t

December 18, 2013

I’ve been looking at some songs for the Christmas season that are a little different from the traditional carols. Many of us have never the hauntingly beautiful song, “In the Bleak Midwinter.” It is simple and hopeful and just a little melancholy.

And WRONG.

At least, it would appear so.

Give it a listen and consider these elegant and simple words.

This entrancing song is observing the surroundings upon the occasion of Jesus’ birth. While we have for centuries celebrated it in December, the culture into which Jesus was born was not one of mobility. Traveling just was not done in the winter for obvious reasons. We don’t know the date that it actually took place but we celebrate it at this time. So, in the bleak midwinter wasn’t really.

Or was it?

You see, in quite another sense, the world was in a very dark time. The people of Israel, chosen by God to be His own people in the world, had been without a prophetic word from God for about four hundred years. In a very real spiritual sense, it was indeed a bleak midwinter.

Into the cold spiritual climate of rigid religion and sterile faith, God sent His Son. After four hundred years of hearing nothing from the voice of God, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among mankind (John 1:14). In the bleak midwinter of spiritual darkness, the Light of the World came to show us the way – indeed to be the Way and the Truth and the Life without whom no one can come to God (John 1:8-13, 14:6).

There is a powerful closing stanza of this song that grips me. The words flow so smoothly simply,

What, then, can I give Him, empty as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would know my part.
What, then, can I give Him?
I must give my heart.

That child was born to make a way for us to be delivered from the bleak midwinter of this cold, harsh world and to walk with Him forever in the glorious light of His presence. That’s why He came. You and I have only one thing to give Him – only one that He truly desires. He simply wants my heart. And yours.

He has had mine for about thirty-five years now. Does He have yours?

Would you consider honoring His birth with that most important gift?

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