December 29, 2008


So much to meditate on in the Christmas hymns!
So many Christmas hymns, so little Christmas Season!
I'm celebrating the old way this time around--till February 2.
(commentary in bold)

Good Christian friends rejoice! With heart and soul and voice!
Now you hear of endless bliss (We were created for no less than bliss! Why do we so seldom talk about this? Does it sound too good to be true? Eden sounded too good to be true, too.)
Jesus Christ was born for this (born to suffer and die for OUR bliss)
He has opened heaven's door (Not only did the Chosen People not know about the Trinity and the Beatitudes, they were pretty shaky on the afterlife, too. Now we know there IS a heaven and it's for us, and it's OPEN!)
And we are blessed forevermore! (meaning: we are blessed forevermore!)
Christ was born for this, Christ was born for this. (Jesus' raison d'etre: Us. And only God gets to choose His raison d'etre.)

Now we need not fear the grave! (meaning: we need not fear the grave!)
Jesus Christ was born to save,
calls you one and calls you all (Christianity is not a club. ALL. All are called.)
to gain His everlasting hall (Heaven is open. To all. For the taking. By the "violent.")
Christ was born to save, Christ was born to save. (Save who? Us. From what? Us. The sin of Adam and Eve was not to trust God. We have been given another chance, a last chance, to trust God. Jesus has made it easy to trust Him. Will we? "Jesus, I trust in you." We must trust in His "too good to be true" will and ability to save. Us. Me. But how do we trust, what does it really mean to trust? I think it means to follow His directions, His lead, His way, His example. We didn't get it in the garden, now it's pretty clear: "No greater love has one than to lay down one's life for one's friends." It's about some kind of gift and sacrifice. In the language of the Theology of the Body, it is to "make a gift of self." Jesus spoke about "losing ourselves," and I think this means that the gift is total. We really do give ourselves away. But, like the exchange of gift/love in the Trinity, each member of the Trinity can be trusted to give the "self" back to the "other." People don't generally do that. They usually accept the gift and maybe partially give it back at best. But we can trust that God is good for it even if people aren't. He'll give us ourselves back one way or another. We have to trust that when we make this total gift of self, ultimately, we are safe in His hands. "And there is no snatching out of the Father's hands.")

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