A Christmas Carol

From Carmina Gadelica– A Christmas Carol:

HAIL King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
Hail King! hail King! blessed is He, the King of whom we sing,
All hail! let there be joy!

This night is the eve of the great Nativity,
Born is the Son of Mary the Virgin,
The soles of His feet have reached the earth,
The Son of glory down from on high,
Heaven and earth glowed to Him,
All hail! let there be joy!

The peace of earth to Him, the joy of heaven to Him,
Behold His feet have reached the world;
The homage of a King be His, the welcome of a Lamb be His,
King all victorious, Lamb all glorious,
Earth and ocean illumed to Him,
All hail! let there be joy!

The mountains glowed to Him, the plains glowed to Him,
The voice of the waves with the song of the strand,
Announcing to us that Christ is born,
Son of the King of kings from the land of salvation;
Shone the sun on the mountains high to Him,
All hail! let there be joy!

Shone to Him the earth and sphere together,
God the Lord has opened a Door;
Son of Mary Virgin, hasten Thou to help me,
Thou Christ of hope, Thou Door of joy,
Golden Sun of hill and mountain,
All hail! let there be joy!

On Saturday our neighbor lost her husband to a heart attack. Married for more than 50 years, and in a midnight-instant he was gone. But all hail, let there be joy.

On Sunday I dance-cooked in a small kitchen with my sister. As we hopped around each other to throw in a pinch of salt or a dash of pepper, to saute garlic, boil noodles, and simmer sauces, we laughed and we celebrated family. All hail, let there be joy.

I sit on a bed in my in-laws’ beautiful, old house and look out the window at snow on the ground and ice on the trees. Three candle-bulbs flicker on the sill. And all hail, let there be joy.

I try to rest my eyes and my mind floods with the worries of the world. Countries still wage war, families are still torn apart, children still die. All hail, let there be joy.

A friend gives birth to her baby, and another friend battles yet another round of chemo with her son. All hail, let there be joy.

My little ones breath heavily and unsteadily as they fight congested noses and painful coughs. And all hail, let there be joy.

My prayer today was that I might try to fathom who this Jesus was, is, and is to come.

And for now, all I can grasp is that He came as a baby, like my nearly 4-month old. He came cooing and crying, teething and toddling. And still, He is the Son of Glory, King Victorious, Lamb all Glorious.

In the brokenness, in the rejoicing, in the whirlwind of everything that is life…

All hail, let there be joy!

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