This week leading up to Christmas we decided to assemble four of our favorite authors and teachers to share their thoughts on the season. We began yesterday, with a sermon from our hands-down favorite, my husband, C.J., taken from one of the earliest Christmas carols every written, in 1 Timothy 3:16.
Today, we will consider another Christmas carol through the eyes of one of my favorite authors: Elisabeth Elliot. As a little girl, I still remember my mom reading Through Gates of Splendor, a book that left an indelible impression on my young mind. Since then, I have read many of her books, listened to many of her radio broadcasts and messages, and had the privilege to meet her on several occasions. One of the all-time highlights of serving the women of Covenant Life Church was when Elisabeth Elliot came to speak at one of our retreats.
In this contemplation of the well-known carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” taken from a December 2000 broadcast, Elisabeth Elliot encourages us to put our trust in Christ, even when we cannot comprehend His ways. She considers the following line from this song:
“‘In the dark streets shineth the everlasting Light—the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’ Why not with trumpet blasts? Wouldn’t you expect that the coming of the King of kings would be with trumpet blasts, with royal proclamations and fanfare and maybe camel trains and pomp and ceremony—and who knows what other kinds of ceremony, celebration? It was a strange method for God to choose. But God is in the business of doing things in ways we never imagine.”
Let me encourage you to grab a few moments in between the wrapping and the baking, sit down with something hot to drink, and read all of what Elisabeth Elliot has to say about “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”