Monday, 10 December 2012

A Broken Hallelujah: I admit, and then I find hope...

I have written about the cracks that let in light before... I have asked you to let the love overflow from the brokenness.

"There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in."

There is something I want to admit to. I don't really know how to put this, but I don't like Christmas.

Not this year anyway.

It is relieving to finally let that one out.

I shall try to explain myself... last year I was met by this amazing concept, 'The Advent Conspiracy'.  It was not long before Christmas, and finally, for the first time in my life I realised exactly what Christmas was really about.  But, to be honest, I didn't really know what to do about it. I had a really good Christmas, but soon I was back into the swing of life and I'd sent many of the thoughts to the back of my mind, and I let myself get back to 'normal'.

So the year has past, and a busy one it has been too.

And now I just can't be bothered.

I can not be bothered with a single thing, and that is the truth of it.

Yes, it is the consumerism, the love of money, and the ridiculous-ness behind so much of the whole affair that gets me really, really angry.

But what makes me really sad is how this anger overrides the love and Beauty, and awe, and marvellous-ness of it all.

I really just want to run away from my incapability to overcome all this deep-set anger, I want to run away because it is frustratingly hard to see the Beauty.

Of course I have stories of redemption; of the pain I have been through and how the cracks that these things have made have let the light shine through.  There has never been a hard time I've been through, that I haven't come out the other side of with just a little more light and hope.

But the thing is, right now I am being consumed by this.  I am trying to scream out 'Hallelujah' I am trying to shout from the rooftops 'How great, how marvellous is He' but it keeps coming out as a hoarse whisper, and I can't get myself heard above and beyond it all.

A Broken Hallujah: Christmas is my hallelujah, but it is well, and truly broken.

I know in my head how Beautiful it all is: God chose to limit Himself, not just to a human being but to a baby, a poor, helpless, screaming child wrapped in nothing more than cloth, laid in a place fit only for animals.  God: All-conquering, Lord of all, King of kings, He chose to step down from his throne to become one of us.

We break bread and we drink the wine to remember Him, and it makes this little spark appear within me when I start to consider it.

But I am broken, and as much as I know in my head that there is hope, for there is always hope.  I am having a hard time convincing my heart of the matter.

'God, I don't know where I'm going wrong. I wish I could fix the problem, but this whole Christmas charade. It just isn't working out for me, I don't know where to begin with my list of problems, and I don't know how to explain to those closest to me how it's all falling apart...'

It is as I call out to God that I realise the problem...'I...I...I...me...me...me...'

I have been caught up into this self-centred, 'world focused on me' idea, and i really, really, need to get out of it.

Christmas is certainly not about me, so as I stand still in this world full of a lot of darkness, I look for the light.

Along the road from where I live is this beautiful, beautiful old Church, each Christmas Eve, my family and I gather together and we walk up to the door of the Church, and we enter into the service on the night before that very special day.  As you enter they give you the Carol book and a candle, and every year it is the same...

And it is beautiful, a few hundred people gather in the stillness of the Church, the cars continue to rush past as people dash home in time for Christmas, but us, we stand we sing, and then the lights are turned out.  The few bits of light from the nearby street lights do not compare with the blackness of the room, and as a candle is brought in from the back of the centre aisle, the light it gives is remarkable.  Soon the light from the single candle is spread, until every person in the room holds a candle that is lit, and the room is alight with the flickering, wavering, but still alight candles.

God is the light of the world.  God brings light into even the darkest times.

He chooses to share that light with us, He chose to limit Himself.

And still we flicker, and we waver, and we cower, and we want to run and hide, but the light is still there, let us let it shine.

So I said, I don't like Christmas, and maybe you will understand? I am confused, and this Broken Hallelujah hasn't been finished yet, but I am not losing hope completely, because even as I cry out to God now, He gives me light, He shows me what's wrong and then offers to help me with it.

So as I try, try, try to let God in, and let Him work in my heart to untangle the mess that threatens to choke me, to cut the chain of self-centred-ness from around my throat, I pray that I will have the grace to fall to my knees before the King of all kings who loves me enough to become vulnerable for me.

I will continue to try and shout my hallelujah.

A Broken Hallelujah. Will you join me this Christmas?

As I try to...

Worship Fully
Spend Less
Give More
and Love All.  [The Advent Conspiracy]

Not in my strength, but in His.

I'm on my knees down here, broken and fallen, but it is here that I am closer to where the Baby Jesus fell to.  And it is okay for my Hallelujah to be Broken, because as I fall nearer to Him, He is always close, He can hear my hoarse whisper. And He loves me, He loves, loves, loves me: unconditionally.


Today I join Prodigal Magazine and SheLoves Magazine as they cry out their Broken Hallelujahs.