Paolo Esposito – Associate pastor for media and outreach

Music has to be one of Christmas’ most important and enjoyable traditions. Songs that we cherish and wait for many months to hear and sing. By the time Thanksgiving dinner is over most radio stations start playing a selected repertoir of songs that will linger on til December fades away. Yes, most of us love Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed Christmas music.

In 2005, I heard a Christmas song like few others. It made me reflect upon Christmas and to some extent gave this holiday an even deeper meaning. It starts describing a peaceful and silent night, just like any other, in the little town of Bethlehem.

Yet above her deep and dreamless sleep a giant star lights up the sky. And while she is lying in the dark, there shines an everlasting light. For the King has left His throne and is sleeping in a manger tonight. It goes on to say, Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping, For God became a man and stepped into your world today.

For centuries the prophets had announced the coming of a Messiah,  over forty prophecies foretold his coming, the place where he would be born, the manner in which would be conceived and many other details. Yet the sad truth is that “He came to his own, but his Own did not receive Him” (John 1:11)

But it is the conclusion of the song that sent chills down my spine:

United States of America, Looks like another silent night. As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies that save the trees and kill the children. And while we’re lying in the dark, there’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky. For the Bridegroom has returned, and has carried His bride away in the night. America, what will we miss while we are sleeping. Will Jesus come again, and leave us slumbering where we lay.

Just as it was in His first advent, we are foretold of a Second Coming. Jesus himself told the disciples of the many signs of his return  yet he compared the world at the time of His second coming as ten virgins, of which five fell asleep in the wait.

Everything point to the soon return of our Savior. Prophesies of the last days are fast fulfiling, we see the sings all around us. We know that heaven awaits for that last order, and then Jesus will return. Not as babe in a manger but as the King of Kings and ruler of the universe.  Yet the question stands, will we be sleeping?

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