How about this verse: "How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is giv'n." Oh that the shouters would become silent and let the only voice that matters speak for Himself. The rest of the verse is also a slap in the face to modern man: "So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n." Human hearts, not sellers of things made in China.
There's more: "No ear may hear His coming but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in."
Oh, my. Meek souls? How many of the self-proclaimed defenders of Christmas appear meek? In our era of nonstop sound and endless sound bites, the carol writers say you won't recognize the voice of Jesus through the physical senses.
I do not care if a mall employee wishes me a "Merry Christmas," or not, or if mall managers favor snowpersons over manger scenes, or erect trees they call "holiday" and not "Christmas." It isn't about their observing this event, giving us a "religious rush" and creating a false sense of security that culture is better than it is. It is about people who believe in this historic event observing it in a way that recalls the birth of the Savior of the world (not the savior of the bottom line): silently, wondrously and worshipfully.
Let the world get drunk at its office parties. Let it consume material things, pile up credit card debt and embrace other trappings of this counterfeit "Christmas" road show. I prefer the "original cast."
Another carol, less familiar, but even more to the point:
"Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand."
We should expect that homage only from those who "believe on His name," not from the Santa Claus worshippers.
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