O Come, All Ye Faithful

Monday, December 17, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Little Town Of Bethlehem"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 9:2 – The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined. (NRSV)

It had been pouring rain all day. Undeterred, we piled into the car to make our way to downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to join my sisters and their families on the Karaoke Christmas Lights trolley bus tour. The traffic was heavy as we approached Lions Gate Bridge, which is not unusual on a typical day, but it was the holidays, so we were a bit surprised. Then we learned that there was only one lane open in each direction due to a "police incident". Usually, that is understood to mean that someone is attempting to take their own life by jumping off the bridge, and the police have blocked off the lane closest to the side that the person is on so that they can have some space to try to coax the person back over the railing and get them the help that they so desperately need.

The traffic inched along, and as we approached the southern bridge span, a police car was heading the other way with its lights flashing. There was no other evidence of any distress or trauma, so we were hopeful that the police had been successful and the person that they were trying to help was in the back of the police car on their way to get some help. Feeling sombre and subdued, we continued on our way, and soon, we boarded the Karaoke Christmas trolley bus.

We began our tour, singing our way past the city lights of downtown Vancouver, on a trolley bus festively decorated and equipped with a television and a karaoke machine. We had a list of songs that we could choose from, and passengers were encouraged to call out requests. We cycled through some secular standards with many on the bus joining in. After a little while, my nephew, who is five years old, called out, "O come, all ye faithful". Our host looked through her list of songs. "I'm sorry, we don't have that one. What else would you like?" My brother-in-law replied, "That's the only one he knows all the words to." He had practiced it over and over for his school Christmas production. Someone called out, "Let's do it anyway." So, without the benefit of any backing tracks or a screen with words to follow, the trolley bus was filled with people joyfully singing "O come, all ye faithful". It turns out that my nephew was not the only one who knew the words!

There are times when it feels like we are surrounded by darkness. So many people struggle in broken homes, get lost in the miasma of grief or depression, feel that there is no point in going on. And yet, there is a light that still shines. Perhaps, it's the light of a police car, spiriting someone to safety. Perhaps, it's the lit-up face of a little boy surrounded by people singing his favourite Christmas carol with him.

Jesus came to be the light of the world … for everyone. God promised the Israelites that light would shine on them again. All through the year, our challenge is to continue to carry that light to all who feel lost or forsaken, trusting that even if we feel small or unimportant, God will use us to bring joy to others.

Prayer: God, Your light shines eternally. Help us always to look for ways to be reflectors of Your light so that others may see it too. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Fiona Watts <fiona.e.watts@gmail.com>
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So cool!!

    Thanks for the encouraging word, Fiona. Merry Christmas.

    Thank you, Fiona. A good lesson from a special experience.

    Amen to that, Fiona! Loved the illustrations of light breaking through.

    Thanks for sharing. It is so important to keep the true meaning of Christmas.

    Lovely, Fiona. Thanks for sharing.
    Merry Christmas.

    Blessings and thanks to you Fiona for such a touching and meaningful devotional today. I enjoyed it very much!

    Fiona, Thanks for sharing such an inspiring example that there are people who still believe and know the words and they wanted to bring joy to your nephew and everyone. A lovely devotional.

    Let God’s light shine in and through Jesus. Let that light guide our feet as we strive to share the light and love of God with all those who will see the light reflected in us.
    Thank you and God Bless.

    Your marvelous devotional is unforgettable! How encouraging all your carefully worded descriptions are so that we can be right there with you, riding along, seeing, singing, sharing! Thank you, Fiona for the inspiration. joy and peace your words bring us today. Well-written and inclusive.

    Hello Fiona,
    Thanks for this morning’s devotional. So important that we reach out to others showing the “light” of Jesus and help raise the spirits of those who feel alone and forgotten.

    Dear Fiona,
    You don’t know how much I needed to read what you had to say today. It spoke to me, in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing this… and reminding us that if we’re not shining too brightly for Jesus, we need to ask to turn up the voltage.
    Blessing to you and all your loved ones this Christmas.

    Good Morning Fiona,
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. It is becoming more and more prevalent that people don’t know the standard Christmas Carols. Bless you nephew and those who taught him to sing that wonderful hymn. It is our hope and prayer that more people will come indeed.
    Blessings and a very Blessed Christmas to you and yours.

    Beautiful – Thank you.

    Thanks for this; your first for the Daily Devotional?
    I’ve enjoyed this online, since it was started by Robin Ross, a PCC minister in BC.
    Your family stories inspire and encourage the Faithful.
    Keep it up, we can all do with it!

    Dear Fiona,
    I thank God for the precious inspiration He has given to you and others for the devotions You have presented for us.
    Let”s pray for Israelites that they will come in masses to receive the Lord of our world, Jesus Christ, as who he is, Lord for all the world, and with power for the faith of Jewish people of the world. May they accept him as Who he is. And my we Christians show them what he has done for us in patience, love, and joy.
    May we keep praying for the race from which our Lord has come, that they may respond in droves in receiving HIM as Lord and Savior.
    Keep writing,

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