I’ve already alluded to this advert holding a special place in my heart, because it was the first one that connected with me in some way. And if I’m honest the song is a massive part of that. The advert itself picks up on that theme of journeys again, which are such a massive part of the Christmas story.
But that hymn, ‘How can I keep from singing?’ just underlines the very reason for all of those journeys, to this same place, to see this same long expected gift.
All the people gathered in the classic nativity scene; the inn keeper, the shepherds, the wisemen, all the angels and Mary and Joseph crammed into the stable to simply gaze upon the Christ child. For me that final verse of the hymn captivates something that I can imagine them all thinking. “The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing! All things are mine since I am his! How can I keep from singing?”
The peace this tiny baby boy in the hay brings refreshes tired an weary hearts, a fountain bringing refreshing water of life at the end of these long journeys. Gazing on the face of the Christ child, perhaps this ragtag group of people understand who this baby is, who he will become, and they understand that they in this gift they have all things, because they are his. How could they, how could we, keep from singing?
This advent, perhaps we too simply need to gaze on the face of the Christ child and allow him to refresh our tired and wearied hearts, and in knowing we are his, and in so knowing, how could we keep from singing?