Monday, December 12, 2011

In the Bleak Midwinter

As I sit to write this Monday afternoon, it is bleak.  And grey.  And cold.  And sunless.

And bleak.

Which leads me to one of my most favorite Christmas carols.  So I guess today's blahness was worth it!

Enjoy a little musical interlude with Corrinne May.   I love this little snapshot of an artist truly loving what she is doing.  Her joy in performing is evident in her smiles ...

In the Bleak Midwinter
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Text: Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894
Music: Gustav Holst, 1874-1934

What a powerful picture painted with words and song.  The bitter cold held at bay from the new babe and mother by the stable walls and the animals who lived there.  The humility of His birth contrasted with the majesty of Heaven looking on.  The rejoicing of the angels at this miraculous birth and that first snapshot of worship ... a mother's kiss on the head of the Son of God.

But the final verse is what really touches my heart.  

What do we have to give as a gift to Jesus?  
We are poverty-struck in the face of His glorious riches.  
We are empty of anything of value when it comes to His all-sufficiency and majesty.
We lack anything of worth when compared to His incomparable wealth.

The only thing of value that we have to offer Jesus is us.  

Christina Rossetti penned it well.  What can we possibly give to Jesus?  

Only our hearts will do.  

And what if our hearts are in the midst of a bleak midwinter?  What if our hearts stand hard as iron?  I believe Jesus will take our icy hearts, too.  He doesn't want anything to come between His love and our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. I have a version of this song by James Taylor and I've always loved it. One of my favorite Christmas songs as well. Thanks for sharing this amazing artist.


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