Thursday, December 29, 2011

o holy night

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With Christmas occurring close to our one year anniversary in Peru, it was hard not to reflect on our past year over the holiday.  Thinking about this past year brings up so many emotions, thoughts, feelings, hurts, joys, confusion, and pain. It was a heavy year for us.  We have been thrust into the refiner's fire and it burns.  The thing about being refined and molded is that the process can come dangerously close to breaking you.  Bending your will, becoming more Christlike, laying aside selfish desires, being denied comforts you have grown used to are all painful experiences because our sinful nature fights it.  It is a long path.  One that we are only just beginning.  

The hymn "O Holy Night" especially spoke to me this season.  I feel like every line spoke truth about our past year.  

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

My soul felt Christ's birth and the redemption that set in place in deeper and more personal ways this year.  Most days that is all we have to cling to here.  

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Yes, my weary soul and this weary world rejoice.  Hope.  A new day will come. A glorious day.

Fall on your knees, o hear the angel voices
O night divine, o night when Christ was born
O night,  holy night, o night divine

How many times this year have I fallen to my knees overcome with grief, exhausted, spent, unable to go on?  Begging God for strength and restoration.  

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His Gospel is peace

Love is why we are here.  We are only just beginning to learn how to truly love each other.  So thankful that His law is love and His Gospel is peace.  Peace for me, peace for my family, peace for our ladies. 

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

The chains of poverty will be broken.  These ladies are our sisters, their
husbands are our brothers.  Oppression shall cease.  Oppression shall cease! 

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord, o praise His name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

And at the end of the day, whatever has happened and whatever is to come, may we raise hymns of joy and let all within us praise His holy name.  Because Christ is the Lord.   

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