Hymn 102, The Birthday of a King
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. Jeremiah 23:5 ESV
On Christmas Eve in 1968, the world sat anxiously awaiting news about three men who had made the voyage from the earth to the moon. When the crew of Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit, they must have wondered if they would ever see “home” again. So they—and we—sat and waited, but no one could imagine what would happen next.
In the rush of the world today, it is hard not to be anxious about anything. I can shop online and within hours the order is on my doorstep. I can connect with anyone around the world through video chat, and I can make an instant peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a squeeze bottle. It is truly amazing how quickly the world can move. In all this rush, it is easy for us to forget, as the psalmist tells us, to “be still and know that I am God.”
As Apollo 8 made its journey around the dark side of the moon, silence must have fallen heavy upon its crew. The silence was quickly interrupted by the first sight they saw—the earth rising above the moon.
God’s promise in Jeremiah 23:5 was that the days were coming when He would bring Jesus into this world. And on that day, all of creation was awestruck by the sight of God’s promise. My favorite line in this song is attributed to the angels: “Alleluia!” and “the sky was bright with a holy light, ‘twas the birthday of a King.”
This Christmas, I hope you will take a moment to sit in awe of what God is doing in your life. He is perfect, and His time is perfect, and His love for you is perfect.