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Blog“Just Around the Corner”

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     The so-called Christmas season has begun. I say “so-called” because it is somewhat indefinite in scope, and undefined in extent. But, a little like the change of the wind toward the end of The Lord of the Rings, there is a subtle change in these days that begins to arouse an expectancy in our hearts – at least in my heart.

     We live in a beleaguered world of pain, want, violence, hatred, wars (both outward and inward), a world that, sometimes for weeks, seems overcast, a world, as C. S. Lewis described under the White Witch’s rule, where it is “always winter, and never Christmas.

always winter, and never Christmas

     Well, Christmas is coming. “Aslan is on the move.” There is a sense that something, or Someone, is stirring, not as one turns over in his bed toward the end of night, but as if you were to hear the bumping and clanging in the barn, and the lowing of cattle, in the wee hours of the morning when the first milking is nearly underway. The stars are still out, but there is the least faint suggestion of a glow in the east that whispers a hint of the day that will come. The long, sad, often-sleepless night begins to be over, and something stupendous approaches.

     Christmas is coming. Many evangelicals nearly dismiss Christmas as a focus in the wrong area. Primly they say that it was not the Baby Jesus that saved the world, but the Man Jesus, dying on the cross that did. I rejoin, “Yes, but the invasion that began that mighty work took place thirty-three years earlier, in the form of a mere Promise that was also a fulfillment of a promise; a tiny Infant, wrapped in hastily-gathered cloths to keep him warm, was laid in a handy manger in the stable where He had taken His first squalling breath.

All it was, for the present, was a change in the wind

     What difference does a Baby make? None at all, for the present. All it was, for the present, was a change in the wind. But that minuscule difference was the precise corner where the world, without any consciousness of it, turned the corner and would never be the same.

     Somehow, in each Christmas season, that subtle change of wind seems to repeat itself, and we think, however unconsciously, “Things will be different now.” It is a change of lighting, a segue from sad songs to hopeful ones, an inner lift in our spirits that turns our grimly-set mouths into shy smiles (the first glow of a coming dawn). Aslan is on the move. The winter of our discontent is almost over, even though, according to the calendar, it really hasn’t even begun yet. We begin to think, with Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one.”

     And we begin to believe, despite circumstances, that He will.

Dick Bastille