A Weary World Rejoices

“A weary world rejoices” is a line from the Christmas carol, O Holy Night. There are times in my life that a line from a song really resonates with me, and it becomes a source of meditation. Lately, this is just such a line…

A weary world rejoices.                                  

It is that time of year when Christmas carols fill the air. A season of mad headlong preparation, shopping, decorating, baking and holiday parties. It’s up hill to Boxing Day when, if one is lucky, there is some down time until the New Year’s festivities commence. As much as I love Christmas, I rejoice on Boxing Day. The production is over and I can sit, eat leftovers and relax for a few days. I can read, go to movies and enjoy the holiday light displays.

Living with a centenarian, and being a baby boomer myself, there are often discussions in my house about a simpler time, when it wasn’t about how many lights a house displayed, or how many gifts were given. A time when all the decoration a house put up was simple snowman waving a greeting, and if a family was very creative, maybe a snowman nativity scene adorning the front yard. The only lights were those on the Christmas tree that could be seen through the living room window.

Gifts were often homemade. Handcrafts were the norm; a sweater, mittens and hats were wrapped and placed lovingly under the tree. Baked goods were passed from home to home; cookies, loaves, and squares were enjoyed by one and all. There were certain recipes that were only pulled out for Christmas. I have those types of recipes. The ones I only make at Christmas and give away as gifts. Luckily, most of my friends look forward to those seasonal offerings, much to my delight.

That simpler time we often reminisce on was also a more difficult time. Every-day tasks took longer, and were more labour intensive. Modern appliances have made day-to-day life easier, and technology continues to take everyday tasks out of our hands. Ideally, this easier living should allow us to slow down and enjoy life more, but sadly, that is not the case. We fill our time with longer and longer to-do lists trying to fit one more thing into our already packed schedules and lives, to the point where we are missing interpersonal connections.

Time with family and friends was the focus of the season, and I truly believe it still is, but all the lead up is exhausting. Hence, my Boxing Day rejoicing.

Amidst the preparations for the big dinner, Christmas Day is also a day full of rejoicing. I celebrate the birth of Jesus, His coming to bring humanity’s redemption and to show us the possibility of a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Jesus showed us the Father and his heart toward us.

Over the last little while, I have made a decision to focus on leading a more contemplative life. I am making the time to listen more and converse with my Heavenly Father. He is with me in the midst of all that demands my attention: my role as a caregiver to my mother; my longing to have good and loving relationships with my family and friends and my desire to live a creative life, to set myself up as a writer, no, not just a writer, but a good writer.  At the centre of all of this is Him. He is my love, joy, hope and peace.

It is my hope this Christmas season that you will find love, hope and peace in your life. They are gifts often wrapped in the arms of those we love and who love us. Ultimately, they all originate in the heart of God and flow to us through His creation. Let us receive and embrace all that the season offers.

PS: On Christmas Day I will be delivering a special gift to all my subscribers’ electronic Christmas stockings (email inbox). It is a short story that introduces the main character of the novel I am currently working on. If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter you can do so by clicking here.

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