CHRISTMAS

The Incarnation is the place…
where hope contends with fear

kathleen norris

Jesus is sheer absolute gift of god. He is not a mere product of human history; he is the humanity of the God who graciously identifies with us and shares our human condition. No less human for that ,for Gods solidarity with us requires his full humanity. But human as Gods self gift to humaity as IMMANUEL

richard bauckham

His name is Emmanuel
the God who is with us who
is made out of the same stuff
we are and who is made out of
the same stuff God is and who
will not let either of us go

barbara taylor

How thankful I am god became human
He did not choose to become one of iron nerves
that would not have helped weaklings like you and me
nearly so much

c.s.lewis

Our salvation comes from something small, tender, and vulnerable, something hardly noticeable
God ,who is the creator of the universe, comes to us in smallness,
weakness and hiddeness. I find this a hopeful message.
Somehow, I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of gods saving power, but over and over again I am reminded spectacles, power plays, and big events are the ways of the world. Our temptation is to be distracted by them and made blind to the “shoot that shall sprout from the stump” Isa 11:1

henri nouwen

I am ever and always a stranger to grace
I need this annual angel visitation
to know the virgin conceives and God is with us

eugene peterson

CHRISTMAS MOURN

Christians raise their hands in praise
they bow their heads in prayer
they chant a phrase from bygone days
and deep within …they care

But while they’re looking upward
praisin God in varied sound
I wonder if most understand
whats really going down

Have they known that single mom
with baby in her arms
who’s been turned away from welfare
and is forced to sell her charms

Did they see that nice old fella
wearing rags to fend the cold
having dinner in a dumpster
while his stomachs full of mold

Have they heard that needed welfare cheque
was late again today
now the poor will wait til Christmas past
to see the light of day

Have they ever felt frustration
due to hunger and to cold
when greedy men and winter wind
have taken of their toll
Merry Christmas everyone
and may the Christ child this day born
protect you from such poverty
that brings on Christmas Mourn.
Ed Smith

Ah ! Bleak and chill the wintry wind
But colder far be he
Who hath no warmth of love to share
With Christ, the Babe that Mary bare
On His Nativity
On His Nativity

Dark, Dark
the night when Christ was born
But deeper shadows be
Within the heart that hath no Joy
With Mary and her Baby Boy
On His Nativity
On His Nativity

Peace be to them and right good cheer
Who carol merrily and hie them
forth when church bells ring
To kneel before the new born King
On His Nativity
On His Nativity

by Bates G. Burt & Alfred Burt 1945

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.

Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost — how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wife’s tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home

(Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

A CHRISTMAS BALLAD

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

(Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

In the Bleak Mid-winter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breastful of milk and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for him, whom angels fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel, which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim’s thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can give Him: give my heart.

Christina G. Rossetti

Christmastide

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Christina G. Rossetti

Christ in Christmas

All the heavens came alive it seems

With a bright celestial light

When an angel came to shepherds

Tending flocks of sheep one night

We told them of the Christmas child

Who was born in Bethlehem

And he called the child SON OF GOD

Then he praised His holy name

So let’s put Christ back in Christmas

Let’s honor HIS presence with prayer

Let’s put CHRIST back in Christmas

For CHRIST is the reason that Christmas is here

The shepherds left their flocks that night

For the stable of an inn

To wonder at this child who came

To take away our sin

They found HIM wrapped I swaddling clothes

And they noticed that HE lay

In a simple wooden manger

On a bed of straw and hay

Through the ages times have changed it seems

Traditions have been set

With Santa Claus and Christmas trees

How often we forget

though Christmas trees and Santa Claus

Are really very nice

We wouldn’t have a Christmas

If it weren’t for Jesus Christ

So let’s put Christ back in C Christmas

Let’s honor His presence with prayer

Let’s put CHRIST back in Christmas

Christ is the reason Christmas is here

E W SMITH