One of my favorite Christmas carols has a dreadful name. In fact, its name may be the reason it isn’t included in many of today’s “happy and jolly” Christmas collections. However, to me, this carol has one of the best sentiments regarding Christmas. It always moves me.
The carol to which I’m referring is In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Georgiana Rossetti.
Christina grew up in an artistic home and with representatives from the world of art and literature frequenting her family home. Unfortunately, Christina became ill at the age of sixteen and lived with poor health for much of the rest of her life. She faced the solitude of her sickness with a deep faith which can be seen in her writings. Not willing to let illness stop her literary contributions, Christina published three books of poetry, four devotional collections, and many Christian songs, including In the Bleak Midwinter.
With great skill, Rossetti creates a hopeless, desolate world, filled with bleakness and despair. Into this world, Jesus, Immanuel, God With Us, the Incarnate One, the Light of the World is born. Jesus transforms this world, bringing warmth and light into the most desperate of situations. Heaven’s glories couldn’t hold this Savior of ours back from bursting into our world. The humble circumstances of his birth didn’t dissuade Him from His mission of redemption. Hallelujah!
In the final stanza, the author is forced to deal with her own response to the Christ Child. What can I bring to Him or offer Him that would be of value to Him:
What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him;
Give my heart.
*Photo Courtesy of Red Dot on Unsplash