The Lingering Christmas
January 1, 2014
It was a good thing that the Christmas carolers has bundled up snuggly in their dark-colored hats, bonnets, boots, and gloves as the snow swished across the countryside. David had been going with the young people to bring goodies and cheer to shut-ins for a few years. He had always loved to sing Christmas hymns with his strong voice, but tonight was different. It wasn't that he didn't still experience the sheer joy of singing, but this time he was not only pushing out words by using his own vocal cords, but it seemed that a voice was calling to him from deep down inside as they sang.
"O come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels. O, come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord." The carolers kept singing, "Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation; sing, all ye citizens of heaven above. . . .
Strangely, David's attention was shifting from his own ability to sing, to the meaning of the words.
"How could I go to Bethlehem?"
"What is this that I am feeling?"
"I feel like someone is calling me, but who, to where, and for what?"
The questions all begged for answers and seemed to be amplified with the next carol.
"Joy to the World, The Lord is come, Let earth receive her King, Let every heart prepare Him room. . . ."
David had heard the Christmas story many times before, but to him it had been just time and events in history. As the carolers finished their presentation with, "We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year," the evening turned into a blur of emotion. Finally, the youth paired off and headed for home. He was glad he hadn't asked to take a girl home. The words, the call, and the drawing of David's heart hardly rendered him capable of the usual jovial conversation.
When he got home and took care of the horse, his dad was still up reading The Budget. "How went the caroling?" he asked, not glancing up.
"It was okay," David answered.
"What happened, did you get turned down for a date?"
"No, I didn't ask anyone out."
"You seem somber; did your voice give out?"
"No, Dad. I don't know what came over me tonight. I'm going to bed."
Christmas day was filled with family, extra chores, and guests, but David's heart wasn't in it. He couldn't shake the words of the song calling him, "O, come let us adore Him, O, come let us adore Him. . . ." He wanted to adore Jesus, but how?
Confused, David tried to pray from his heart rather than repeat the memorized prayers from the prayer book. As the new year approached, his attention was drawn to his New Testament on the dresser. With inspiration, he picked up the Scripture in hopes of learning how to pray correctly.
As he read, he noted the wise men who come to worship the Christ child: "This is what the Christmas carol was talking about, but why do I feel like I need to be there?" David felt Christ was speaking directly to him from Matthew 11:28: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." In John 14:6 he read Christ's words, "I am the way the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me." Reading through Ephesians, he realized that only faith in God's grace could save him-and not his own works. The Scripture that sealed the deal for David was Revelation 22:17: "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. . . .Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
So strong was the call that David fell to his knees and prayed in faith, "Dear God, I do believe that Jesus is the sinless Son of God and that He died on the cross to cleanse me from all my unrighteousness. I ask that you will forgive me for trying to make it on my own. I accept you as my Savior and I ask that you will be my Lord. I thank you for being my way into the kingdom of God. Amen!"
On his knees, he realized that faith had led him to the fulfillment of the call and that this was the beginning of his adoration of Christ as Lord!
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