It is easy to enjoy Christmas with its live altar as a crib, clean straw, nice furry animals, and its Christmas card atmosphere of sweetness and charm. In the same way, it was easy for the Jews in Christ’s time to enjoy temple worship with the Holy of Holies, the Ark, and the Veil: all this undying appeal stimulates and enchants us. But redemption was not worked out in temple worship. It was worked out in ordinary life among the ruck of the sinful, sick, maimed, stupid, and self-interested. It was accomplished through sharing the suffering and injustice of life. There was a temple ritual already, but Reality reached and won its creatures by contact through personality, a contact that now and then evades nothing and leaves nothing out. – Evelyn Underhill
Tag Archives: Christmas
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.”
At Christmas time, Christians celebrate the incarnation of Christ.
Hymn to the Only Begotten Son [St. John Chrysostom]
- O only begotten Son and Word of God,
- Who, being immortal,
- deigned for our salvation
- to become incarnate
- of the holy Theotokos† and ever-virgin Mary,
- and became man without change;
- You were also crucified,
- O Christ our God,
- and by death have trampled Death,
- being One of the Holy Trinity,
- glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit —
- Save us!
Over the days, the journey of Advent
the nativity evolving,
the scene coming into focus
beginning with the couple, expectant
alone, in the rented stable
away from family, from home
waiting, under his star, for a son,
foretold by angels, by prophets
Shepherds watching their sheep, expectant
on guard for predators, for robbers
awake for trouble, called by herald angels
to the babe newborn in the manger.
Wise men, long before his birthing,
following a star, in the west,
leading them and their gifts
to his lowly bed.
All of us, through the ages
drawn to the bed of the newborn king
our savior come into the world
to set us free.