Daily Word of Grace # 201 (December 22, 2020)

When it comes to his Christmas stories, Charles Dickens is best known for his 1843 masterpiece novella A Christmas Carol, and rightly so.  But in 1851 he published his brief and beautiful reflection What Christmas Is as We Grow Older.  As some people grow older they grow more disillusioned and cynical, especially around Christmastime.  And yet Dickens responds to this with words of hope and restoration: “Therefore, as we grow older, let us be more thankful that the circle of our Christmas associations and of the lessons that they bring, expands!  Let us welcome every one of them, and summon them to take their places by the Christmas hearth.  Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy, to your shelter underneath the holly!  We know, and have not outlived you yet.  Welcome, old projects and old loves, however fleeting, to your nooks among the steadier lights that burn around us.  Welcome all that was ever real to our hearts; and to the earnestness that made you real, thanks to Heaven!”  In other words, Christmastime serves as a reminder that yes, God is real; yes, Christ our Savior has been born; and yes, God has been and will always be the One who “was ever real to our hearts” and the One who remains in the process of “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

Love and Prayers,