“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a little-known hymn yet a favorite of mine. The final verse is the verse taken by many as the entire song or poem. Even though we probably know today that Christ’s birth was not in the winter, the period of history could certainly be considered “bleak” with Herod the king, his wrath, and his order to slay all the boys under two years of age in Bethlehem and in all the coasts in surrounding areas. Yet God’s plan was anything but bleak when we can see even a speck of this Light Who came. Who came for us, to save us, to call us out of the darkness, to ask us to “follow” Him, to walk with Him.
As I fall to worship Him, I see the Light of God beaming from the manger. The Light draws me near no matter what my circumstances are, bleak or joyful. The Light does not scare me because this Light is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This Light takes the darkness away. When I fall into those dark times, I must not relinquish the faith He gives to me to know and see His Light. No matter how dark times seem today and in the future days and years, the Light will always shine. I must hold my eyes upon Him. He will lead me through what appears dark and bleak. It is only the appearance for the Truth is Christ Jesus.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
The Flight to Egypt
Herod Kills the Children
Thank You, LORD, for this blessed moment with You. Thank You for faith, for Light. And I thank You for the darkness as it actually reminds me that the Light is You, that the Light removes the darkness. May I remember this when I walk in darkness, in bleakness. I ask for You guidance to see even when it is dark. The king brought bleakness to the land by his fears and jealousies. How easily I can fall into bleak periods of this life. Build my faith, Holy One. Draw me near to Thee. I want only You. I love You so, LORD Jesus. Amen.
“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with the music, “Cranham”, written by Gustav Theodore Holst in 1906.
poem by Christina G. Rossetti (English poet – 1830-1894)