On the Twelfth day....

    Do you remember the days of your childhood? Do you remember when you looked forward to Christmas with unbounded eagerness? Your presents were made or bought with enthusiasm not to be outmatched and each one was lovingly swaddled in wrapping paper, done up in your own unique style half of it was paper, the other half was tape. Then came Christmas eve, the most wonderful day of the year, when, amidst the soft glow of many lights, you crept down right before bed, and lovingly arranged your little packages around the tree.
   
    Then there's that other facet of Christmas that comes to your mind as well. You remember all the beautifully illustrated picture books retelling the Christmas tree, and how fresh and wonderful the story was to you each Christmas. You eagerly await the time when your mother puts the special Christmas story books, the ones that only come out at Christmas, in a basket under the tree, and you spend hours poring over the exquisite oil paintings, and marveling afresh over the story you've heard a thousand times before.

    Yes, you and I remember all these beautiful memories, that is, when we have a moment between the hustle and bustle of today's affluent expectations. Sometimes, I think, we need to take a little more time, each year, to step back from life, and remember. Remember our past loves and passions. Remember how we viewed old things afresh. And, most importantly, we need to remember again what Christmas represents. Remember man's great sin and remember our Great Savior.

     Gifts are wonderful things. So is the tree and the decorations, but even more wonderful was God fashioning for Himself a flawed, limited robe of clay, and laying aside His infinity to become finite. Even more beautiful, was God, deigning to dwell in a humble babe whose first bed was a fodder bin. You've heard it all a thousand times, I know. But remember it again. What would it mean for you to agree to take on the body of an earthworm and squirm around in the dirt? Think on it, let the greatness of the sacrifice God made for you astound you afresh on this festive Christmastide.

    To further this end, allow me to present to you a lovely old Christmas song which I only learned about quite recently.

  "Remember O Thou Man"

This is the best version I could find, though the words are a little different from the original. Below are the original words: 




Original Text:
 Remember O thou man, O Thou man, O Thou man, 
Remember O thou man, thy time is spent,
Remember O thou man, when thou art dead and gone,
And I did what I could, therefore repent.

Remember God's goodness, O thou man, O thou man,
Remember God's goodness and promise made [to thee].
Remember God's goodness, he sent his son doubtless,
Our sins for to redress, be not afraid.

Similarly:
The angels all did sing on shepherds' hill.
The angels all did sing praise to our heav'nly king,
And peace to man living with a good will.

To Bethlem they did go, the shepherds three.
To Bethlem they did go to see if 'twere or no,
Wheth'r Christ were born or no to set men free.

In Bethlem he was born for mankind sake.
In Bethlem he was born for us that were forlorn
And therefore took no scorn Our flesh to take.

Give thanks to God alway, with heart most joyfully,
Give thanks to God alway on this our happy day,
Let all men sing and pray, Hallelujah.


  Remember, my friends, remember. Half of our trouble in fighting sin, is that we are such a forgetful people. Take the time this season, to sit back and remember.

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