The Newbold College Choir, The Baby Jesus [and the Bowling Ball]


 I recently attended the Newbold College Christmas Concert. The Newbold Choir were performing. I was running late that evening because all kind of other things came up, so by the time i actually stumbled in the Church doors I had missed more than half the program.

“Oh, well,” I thought. “I might as well sit down and enjoy the last few songs while I’m here.”

 The Sanctuary was filled with people with a lot warmer hands than mine. I sat rubbing my fingers back to life, as I half-listened to the Choir bellow out their “Hallelujah’s” and “Gloria in Excelisis”. My mind was somewhere else, though. You know how it is. You don’t always leave your day at the door when entering a church setting. And this was one of those times.

 The present song came to an end, and I couldn’t help whisper a prayer to this Baby we were singing so passionately about. “Baby Jesus, you don’t feel like doing something here, do you? Could you act? Could you speak? Need a little help…”

I know that Advent and Christmas are valuable reminders of one of Heaven’s greatest acts of Humilty. The entering of eternity into time and God into flesh and bones.

But sometimes I look at our dark days and human pain and burdens.

 I think, “Please, please Baby Jesus! Grow up! Be strong for us! Be our Hero! Don’t be silent or quiet! Come to our rescue!”

The screen informed us that the next part of the program was a Bible Reading to be conducted by Laurence Turner. He rose from his seat, made his way to the platform, and then calmly faced the hall. He barely looked at the words before him. Didn’t have to. He knew them. Truth is, we all did. And that is exactly what was so strange about this reading. We all knew the text so well! And yet when the words were slowly uttered, they caught me. I stopped rubbing my hands. The room was deadly silent. It was as though we had all stopped breathing; like we all knew that something deeply important was being uttered.

“In the beginning was the Word…”

I really don’t know why but the words simply pierced me. In the beginning was the Word. It seemed like such a contrast to helpless, Baby Jesus. He was in the beginning; not of the story, not of the book, but before anything.

“…and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

I still wasn’t breathing.

“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

It was so epic. It was so huge. It was exactly what so many needed to hear. He was God. He was the start. He was in control. He had been there before us. He made it all. The Creator became created. It was so painfullly wrong!!

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

I sat perfectly still. Feasting on the words. He was life. But his life was more than just existence. His life made light, the light that used to wrap around us, the light we exchanged for this.

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.”

This was the line that hit me like a bowling ball.

It has not been overcome. It is not done. It didn’t go anywhere.

The darkness threw all it had at the Light, but it could not be extinguished. His life could not be put out. It was the blessing that wouldn’t go away.

I found my eyes welling up. Those were the words I hungered for. “…the darkness has not overcome it.” It felt as though those words were being spoken for the first time. They felt real. They sounded true. I knew they were.

The Light of the world humbled himself to become a baby, with flesh and fever and tears and snot and blood. He took it all on. But even trapped in this fragile frame, all the darkness of Midnight could not take him down.

I left my day’s problems at the door after that. Because through him we shall overcome. He’s in control.




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