It's been a happy season and a cold season and a sorrowful season and a few lines from songs have been ringing in my heart. Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. O, tidings of comfort and joy! being one of them. I hear those words and I think, uh ...really?! Do we sing that now? And I get a little embarrassed and uncomfortable to sing that when I my neighbor's suddenly a widower, when twenty children just died in Connecticut, when sex trafficking is a major world issue and babies can't get vaccines.
But those angels came on a pitch dark night, after four HUNDRED years of silence. Absolute silence from the heavens. No promised baby, no king, no conqueror. No Spirit. But just silence. A dark, dark night. A promise had been made, but then there was nothing.
Nothing at all for generations.
And people stumbled around--waiting, hoping, making up rules. And then one night the sky burst open and glory
and the angel
For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people!
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord!
And this will be a sign for you:
You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
huh?! a manger?
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!
So, it looks to me like if those angels burst forth in rejoicing like that, then they must know something bigger than we can see. And since, like they announced, we're of the people on whom God's favor rests, it is time to sing from the depths of the darkness to the highest heavens, tidings of comfort and joy.
God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray
O, tidings of comfort and joy!
I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage…that in the world’s finale at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify what has happened. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)