Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Wednesday, December 13

By Ann Reego

In the Bleak Midwinter

Read: Luke 2:1-20

This is my favorite Christmas carol. It moves me more than Silent Night, Hark the Herald, Joy to the World, or O Come, All Ye Faithful. It’s the last verse that gets me.

The carol is very English with Christina Rossetti, a literary great, as the lyricist and Gustav Holst, the composer, a musical great. The first verse is almost ludicrous describing the bleak midwinter as freezing and snowbound—not very credible since Jesus was born in the Middle East where it was warm, and most likely not in December, but April. The second and third verses describe the majesty of Christ in a stable, with angels hovering above. Shepherds and wise men arrive to adore him. His mother delivers a worshipful kiss … as only a mother can do.  

It’s the last verse that brings me to tears … the words that touch my heart.  

“What can I give him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb.

If I were a wise man, I would do my part. 

What I can I give Him

Give my heart.”

This stanza humbles me. I don’t need to search the mall for gifts for my family. I don’t have to have the best dressed house for the season. I don’t need to bake and clean and prepare food for those dear to me. All I really need to give them is my love.  

And that is what I need to give to the Christ child also — my heart. All year long.


Baby Jesus, thank you for your humble beginning. Help us to join you in becoming humble during the Christmas season. Amen.

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