Saturday, December 24, 2016

O Holy Night

A child was born in a cave one night, long ago,
at the end of a weary journey,
to a family cast out from all comfort,
driven off to a damp cavern in the fields,
out into the dark cold ground of rock
and sparse stubble,
where there was no one to welcome the child
except for the lowest miserable exiles of the night,
the poor of the earth's crusty ground,
burdened with the weary weight of restless watching,
wandering in worn crack-heeled sandals
beneath the clouds, searching
for pale green shoots amidst the sand and stones,
to feed the hunger of their skeletal beasts.

He was born in this wild place,
barely sheltered from the windy sky,
first found by these grizzled ancient forgotten men
who had no reason to think
that anybody loved them or cared for them
or knew the lines of their faces.

But it was to them that he came.

And they found him, the child born that night
under the light of a star
that burned in its core with fire.
And the fire was kindled in their hearts, 
awakening something new,
burning with a joy and a hope
they had never known before.

Tonight that fire burns again in hearts all over the world,
burns with a life greater than all death,
burns with a peace that no violence can take away,
burns hot enough to melt our sorrows,
burns in the deep darkness of the night,
high beyond the reach of our own designs and efforts,
a bright beautiful star lighting up unknown roads ahead,
drawing us to walk through the limits of our fears,
leading us to the love that risks everything
to give itself as love and love alone.

Tonight I am led back to Christmas 2011, when this 17 year old girl belted out her own soulful arrangement of O Holy Night and set YouTube on fire.

It was a spark of that great fire of utterly defenseless, utterly unconquerable love, and it has become a light in many hearts at the end of 2016, a fire that burns with a life that is greater than death, a peace that prevails over all the horror of violence.

Listen below to O Holy Night, produced, arranged, and performed in 2011 by Christina Victoria Grimmie (March 12, 1994 - June 10, 2016), an ordinary girl full of an amazing music, a spectacular voice, and an extraordinary faith: