Search
  • Mike Brown

A Reminder for Our Hearts in This Holiday Season


At the risk of dating myself, let me proclaim boldly that I am a fan of Gordon Lightfoot.


One of his songs that has really touched me over the past several years, all year long but especially during Advent and Christmas, is called “Circle of Steel”:


Rows of lights in a circle of steel Where you place your bets on a great big wheel. High windows flickerin' down through the snow— A time you know. Sights and sounds of the people goin' 'round— Everybody's in step with the season.


A child is born to a welfare case Where the rats run around like they own the place. The room is chilly, the building is old— That's how it goes. The doctor's found on his welfare round, And he comes and he leaves on the double.


“Deck The Halls” was the song they played In the flat next door where they shout all day. She tips her gin bottle back till it's gone. The child is strong. A week, a day, they will take it away, For they know about all her bad habits


Christmas dawns and the snow lets up, And the sun hits the handle of her heirloom cup. She hides her face in her hands for a while, Says “Look here, child— Your father's pride was his means to provide, And he's servin' three years for that reason.”


Rows of lights in a circle of steel Where you place your bets on a great big wheel. High windows flickerin' down through the snow— A time you know. Sights and sounds of the people goin' 'round— Everybody's in step with the season.


I’m struck by the images of people caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, completely oblivious to the fact that in their midst are a mother and child who aren’t having a merry Christmas—far from it! We might judge this woman for her “bad habits,” her relationship with a man who has gone to prison, and her turning to drink while dealing with a newborn. But I’m always reminded that God took on human flesh—he lived, he died, and he lives again—for this woman and child and the absent father in prison as much as he came for “good folks” like us.


I’m also reminded that there are folks who are struggling all around us, and, for some, the struggle is even more intense during the holiday season. I believe that if we’re faithful to Jesus, we’ve got to ask, “What can I do to help people find a better life?” A number of churches are moving in the direction of emphasizing that Christmas is not about us—they are inviting their members to focus less on what they receive and more on what they can give to help the needy, emphasizing that the gift of the Christ-child for us “sinners, poor and needy,” should move us to more intentionality in meeting the needs of others.


Well, I can go on and on like this for pages, but I think you get the point. Maybe I just put a damper on your Christmas spirit, but I won’t apologize for it. Somewhere in all this is the Spirit of God speaking to you and me, reminding us that there is something to our Second General Rule: “Do all the good you can”—not just to the needy who are “deserving,” but to all who are in need. Maybe we can help them to find the Christmas joy we cherish so much during this time of year—maybe we can help them find a new spirit for living that will last the whole year. And maybe—just maybe—we’ll grow a little bit more toward that “Christian perfection in love” (the habitual love of God and neighbor and having the servant “mind of Christ”).

20 views
Waycross First United Methodist Church

Write Us

(912) 283-2077

info@waycrossfirst.com

410 Williams St

Waycross, GA 31501

Children First: (912) 584-3272

©2020 by Waycross First United Methodist Church.
Proudly created with wix.com

  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon