A People of Joy: In The Bleak Mid-Winter

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

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.

Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Psalm 136:26

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

There are three great privileges during the Christmas season: giving, receiving and being thankful. And in all three both the giver and receiver are blessed. Unfortunately for us, thankfulness doesn’t just happen. Every parent knows how often they need to remind their child to say “thank you” and be grateful. It is something that we teach and practice. Part of our problem is that we think thankfulness is a reaction — a response to generosity. But being grateful is not a reaction, it is a perspective. It a way of seeing the world. Knowing the value. Acknowledging the cost and thought. Being aware of more than just the inside of our own craniums. Leading us to confess that “I am blessed”.