Christmas has been sad for me. This year, it’s been a reminder of unmet desires and unfulfilled dreams. It’s a reminder that my grandmother no longer lives--she died two weeks before Thanksgiving. My dog, Cindy, who I prayed for since I was old enough to pray and finally received when I was 11-years-old has been with us for 13 years. She has a tumor and thankfully has held on until Christmas but probably won’t make it until the new year. That’s just one more thing that makes me feel less like celebrating this usually festive holiday.
It was December 23rd and the family headed to Nashville to watch the Rockettes perform at the Gaylord Opry Concert Hall. Among the usual family party were my recently widowed grandfather, my long-time widowed grandmother, and my bachelor uncle. I was so glad to experience this event with them, but having them with us was just another reminder of loss and deferred hopes.
Upon entering the concert hall, our seats that we had acquired—the only seats remaining when I called to reserve them—were directly behind a family we knew from home. This family had experienced loss greater than anything I can imagine. The mother had died from a brain tumor while two of her children were still in high school. She had held on for several months, waiting to see her first grandbaby only to be present when that grandbaby died at birth.
I knew instantly that God put us behind this family on purpose, but not until the very end of the performance did I realize exactly why.
A secular concert made a live Nativity its finale. No movie, play, work of art, or performance that I have ever seen of the Nativity was able to capture the irony of great, magnificent kings traveling a great distance to bow before a little child that was born to a poor, misfit family.
With tears sliding down my face, I rose to my feet with my own misfit family and the misfit family in front of me, and the thousands of other concert attendees. We cheered and applauded and joined in the singing of Mendelssohn’s Messiah.
King of kings, Lord of lords.
There was no way that everyone in the room, of all the thousands of people present, was actually a believer. Yet though they were not followers of Christ, in that moment, they worshiped Christ.
And I worshipped Christ. My family worshiped Christ. My widowed grandfather worshiped Christ. The family standing in front of me also worshiped Christ.
And He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
And from the moment of His conception He experienced loss and pain.
But He remained King of kings and Lord of lords.
And in the midst of our pain, our loss, our unmet desires and unfulfilled dreams, He is King of kings and Lord of lords.