Chains He Shall Break

Christmas Eve.  The most magical night of the year.  

Hearts throughout the world are filled with excitement, hope, and the promise of something wonderful in the morning to come.

Christmas Eve.  The most painful night of the year.

Hearts throughout the world are filled with dread, grief, and the broken pieces of what should’ve been and what shouldn't be in the morning to come.

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I’ve been both.  I am both.

Great loss sits next to great gain.

Family breaks, while another is created.

Love finds itself struggling to keep the hate quiet.

Grace dances right alongside inconceivable hurt.

Tears shed for memories past, and memories that will never be.

The same tears fall for moments of such breathtaking joy, the memories past no longer matter.

At least for a moment.

I was 16 when I heard my aunt sing on stage for the first time.  She invited my father, and his wife and kids, to her church’s version of The Christmas Carol.  She played the angel of Christmas present - and had a solo - “O’Holy Night”.  

I wish I had a picture of her wearing those huge white wings.  I wish I had paid better attention to the lyrics.

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Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

The verse explains it all.

Loving one another is how loss turns into gain.  It’s how new families are created.  It’s why hate doesn’t get the last word. 

His law of love is the grace to comfort the hurt, while His gospel of peace calms the torrent of tears.

Those memories are chains He has broken.  

When the oppression ceased, joy broke through.

It’s Christmas Eve.  The most Holy night of the year.

May there be one person in your life to fill your heart with His love - who may not be able to glue those pieces together, but will hold them in their hands and say:

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“They’re beautiful. Every jagged piece is building a life of meaning beyond even what your heart can hope for.  There’s still hope in the dark night of Christmas Eve.”