“On This Day Earth Shall Ring”
United Methodist Hymnal – #248
“. . . born on earth to save us,
peace and love he gave us.”
Eternal life. Not always the main focus of a Christmas carol, but certainly a main point of our faith. It’s just usually more discussed around Easter. But many of the early carol texts revolved around eternal life, usually by way of salvation or redemption. I love redemption stories. They’re my favorite. You know, the selfish, reclusive person has some kind of a life changing experience, and they emerge totally different people. George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life sees what the world would have been had he not been born. And in my favorite, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, we see Ebenezer Scrooge travel from past to future, looking at his life, ultimately becoming a new person. And geez, the Hallmark Channel has some kind of redemption story playing on television 24/7. But often I wonder why things have to get so bad before they can get better? For Scrooge, it was his impending death that changed him. For George Bailey, it was the bleak lives of his mother, and his wife, Mary. We are not blest with the ability to see what the world would be like without us. But it is an interesting exercise. The early church focused on the gift of eternal life, by way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Born on earth to save us! This was, and is, the Good News of Christ’s coming. Humankind was blest at God’s incarnation as human. And redemption can be thought of as a Christmas gift, or an ongoing blessing. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one.”
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have eternal life.
God of grace, we thank you for the gift of redemption, the gift of salvation, and the gift of eternal life. Bless us as we live day to day, doing our best to reflect your spirit is all we do and say. Though unworthy of your love and grace, we will do our best this season to emerge as new, redeemed people. Open our hearts to the needs of others, and then bless us, every one. Amen.
~Rev. L. Michael Kelley