Merry Christmas, sweet friends. It’s funny how travel can take you far away– and then closer than ever– to the heart and soul of the season. From the moment we stepped foot in Sevilla to this very moment in Barcelona, I’ve encountered strange new reminders of the glorious moment in history that we celebrate on Christmas Day.

Perhaps the best phrase the captures this, for me at the moment comes from “O Holy Night”:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

In our postmodern age, we don’t really like the word “sin.” I won’t go into its theological definition here, but I will say this: our world is pining. We are pining for more peace. We are pining for more freedom, more hope, more joy. And as much as we desire these things, we are constantly robbed by the errors– the evil– of others and of ourselves.

So when Christ appears, the soul feels its worth. A thrill of hope and a weary world comes to life again. A new and glorious morn has come and is coming again.

And no matter how we express this longing, no matter where we come from or where we are going, we know to cherish this time of year as a time to renew our trust that something– perhaps someone– is coming for us. That this world is to be made new. We can only hope in this. Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Bon Nadal.