There are some songs that are so iconic that as soon as you hear the first few chords it immediately blasts you into another time or another place. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas will perhaps always conjure a picture in my mind of Bing Crosby sat in front of a piano by a roaring fire effortlessly pouring out the sweet melody of this quintessential Christmas song. The cosy warmth, the rich bass-baritone voice and the superbly inoffensive words beckon us into another world, a world where children are listening for Santa, where snow is falling and where everything is safe and happy and content. It is a nice world and I am reluctant to leave it because somehow it wraps around me like a soft blanket.
But that world seems a long way from the world I live in; a world of storms and disasters on a massive scale, a world where a large percentage of the world will be starving at Christmas and where wars and hatred are still, despite our best efforts, a horrifying reality.
This is why I love the Christmas message, not because somehow bells and sleighs and glistening treetops are wrong but because God's plan to rescue men and women from the horror of what we have made ourselves and our world is a superb plan to give us peace and safety and real joy. Christ comes at Christmas into poverty, rejection and ultimately death in order to give us a home that will be safer and brighter and more lasting than any other vision my mind constructs.
Christmas marks the start of plan to bring us home.
guest post by Paul Lintott