As we move through advent, we are reminded of the fact that in all of the busyness it is vital that we stop to reflect and consider what the advent journey is really all about.
In school our main corridor contains one of our reflective displays. It is based on one of my favourite carols - In the bleak mid winter. This song evokes so much nostalgia for me. As a child I loved my time in the Church choir especially at Christmas.
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was always a highlight - we got to stay up really late! One of the main challenges for the evening was trying to wish everyone Merry Christmas the moment the clock struck twelve. This always happened in the middle of the sermon and as choristers we were on full display to the rest of the congregation, so we had to ensure that we did not cause a distraction. The fear of the wrath of the Choir master always kept us in check, but on this night we were always willing to push our luck!
But the real moment when the magic of Christmas really sunk in, was during communion when the choir would sing a number of carols. In the Bleak Mid Winter was a favourite of the Choir master and we sang it every year.
It is a song that encapsulates what is really at the heart of the Christmas story
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.
But in addition to that it brings us to the core of our response to this amazing truth.
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.
As we journey through Advent, let us take the time to stop and reflect on what the Christmas story means for us.
The star shone in the Christmas sky to bring light into the world, may this Christmas, that light bring us comfort, hope and peace.