Love Came Down at Christmas
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas–
Star and angels gave the sign.
Every time I think of the Christmas season, I think of the scene in Home Alone when the family wakes up late and rushes to get ready to get to the airport. Everyone is running around scrambling with their bags, they rush through the head count in the vans, and sprint to their gate just in time to make their flight. Just watching the scene will elevate your heart race!
Now, obviously, Christmas isn’t really anything like a mad dash to the airport, but it does seem like our pace increases dramatically during the holidays. We have busier work days, more social events, longer and more expensive shopping trips, extra baking needs, tight travel schedules, and even additional church expectations. No question the holidays bring about a certain energy. There’s plenty of excitement and joy to go around. But at what cost?
I’m a person who tends to get overwhelmed when things get too crazy, so I’ve always liked simple things at Christmas. I want to be home on Christmas Day with just my immediate family. No rush, no hustle, no plans. So often, around the holidays, we pack more and more things into our schedule—all good things, but our lives are already full enough. We would do well to scale it back, take a moment, breathe, and remember the simplicity of what makes the Christmas season worth celebrating.
“Love Came Down At Christmas” captures the simplicity of Christmas. It is direct. It is sincere.
With just three short verses, Christina Rossetti offers us a glimpse of a world encountered by the God of Love. In its 12 uses, the word “love” is both personified as the name of God and used to describe God. The poem is made up exclusively of one and two syllable words, with the notable exception of the word “incarnate,” which describes the love of God. Her poem was even originally written without a tune.
No flair. No fuss. No extra show. Just a short, simple poem about the one piece that matters most at Christmas: Love.
This poem is a reminder to slow down, to sit with the simple messages of Christmas, and to remember that God is love and that we are a key part of that.
1 John 4:11 says, “Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.”
As you move through the normalized hustle and bustle this Christmas, keep this poem on your heart. Remember that our increased hysteria doesn’t match the slowing, calming rhythms of nature and time. Take a moment to sit, to breathe, and to remember that love came down at Christmas for all of us, and that’s all we need.
— Rev. Chris Cherry