Be Strong and Loving and Fearless: A Different Kind of Holiday Wish

The snow is falling as I sit at my desk, at that always puts me in a thoughtful mood. Whether you observe Christmas or not, I hope you’re able to find a quiet corner and take a few minutes to reflect on the passing of another year.

I know from experience that the holiday season can be bittersweet when the year has been hard and if you’re feeling this way, I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. So many of us have been there.


I don’t know why, but the hymns I sang as a girl in Christmas church and the advent season are still some of my favorites and the words stick with me when names and dates and other details have already fallen away.

I think it’s really beautiful how the old hymns — and spirituals too — talk so frankly about both hope and despair, darkness and light. It seems that this season of stillness and long, dark nights has tugged at the hearts of people all across the world for centuries. And that shared struggle and yearning gives me more hope and joy than any candy-sweet Christmas carol ever could.

If you need some hope or some rest today, here’s one of my favorite verses from an often overlooked hymn.

Rejoice, rejoice, take heart in the night
though winds blow wildly and cheerless.
The rising sun shall crown you with light —
be strong and loving and fearless.
Love be our song and love our prayer and love, our endless story.
May God fill every day we share 
and bring us at last into glory.

– “Awake, Awake and Greet the New Morn”

I wish you all a season of hope and light.


2 Replies to “Be Strong and Loving and Fearless: A Different Kind of Holiday Wish”

  1. This is lovely. Thank you. While most holiday songs grate on my patience, I find too, that the Christmas hymns I sang as a child have a certain way of bringing light and hope into our lives. The struggle we share as humans to find peace and joy is so much greater than all that other stuff at Christmas time. It sort of makes me think of Charlie Brown Christmas! Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

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