Christmas Day: Let all the earth rejoice

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.This will be for the Lord’s renown, for anContinue reading “Christmas Day: Let all the earth rejoice”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Christmas Eve

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters coverContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Christmas Eve”

Christmas Day: Last Last Thing

After all we have done and left undone,after joy, after grief, after unbelief,after wrapping paper scattered on floor,after food is gone or stashed away,after conversations thrive or starve,after bombs are thrown and names are known,after fire and flood, after duties done,after every going down of Sun,the darkness still has not overcome,the darkness will not overcome.

Christmas 12: Seen (Nathanael’s Story)

…through the birth of Immanuel… (From the Collect of the Day) He saw me by the fig-tree, desiring yet resisting, drawn to know the truth of things yet not looking for it there. He heard dismissal from my lips, saw straight into the heart of things, called to life the truth in me; I cannotContinue reading “Christmas 12: Seen (Nathanael’s Story)”

Christmas 11: Becoming

…and draw us into your holy life… (From the Collect of the Day) At once desiring and resisting: holiness is an arrival, a fulfilment, and a flame that sears. Immanuel comes like a floodlight and I, at times, prefer to hide. Yet this is our why; life occurs for precisely this: union, the family atContinue reading “Christmas 11: Becoming”

Christmas 10: Sons

…gather the nations to be one family… (From the Collect of the Day) But we know travail, know separation, are well-acquainted with the feeling, on waking, that something or someone or somewhere is missing, or wishing, or losing, is lost. And we know the gap between ourselves; we call the vacuum by first name. WeContinue reading “Christmas 10: Sons”

Christmas 9: …who lives and reigns with You and the Spirit (For Basil the Great and Gregory Nanzianzen)

…eternal unity of perfect love… (From the Collect of the Day) What He left behind we can scarce imagine,having never known such unity or home.At best we can only recallthe closest to belonging that we have touched:glimpses of a womb or a bed or a heart,footsteps meeting the sand in shared rhythm.Only if we knewtheContinue reading “Christmas 9: …who lives and reigns with You and the Spirit (For Basil the Great and Gregory Nanzianzen)”

Christmas 8: The Name

Not an unusual name,though a powerful one.Many Joshuas down the street no doubthoped for some of their hero’s kudos:if not the power to bring down Jericho, then at leastthe nod of approval as if they could if they tried.Yet this one would be different. Nofamily lineage dictating the name,but beating wings and the memoryof aContinue reading “Christmas 8: The Name”

Christmas 7: Lords and Lollards (For John Wyclif)

Into the realm of princes and thievescomes the child, comes the child,hay on his brow. Into the darkness that knew not the lightcomes the Word, comes the Word,truth in His flight. Into the sheep-pen where shepherds dig deepcomes the Cross, comes the Cross,ransoming sheep. Into indulgence and folly and pridecomes the King, comes the trueContinue reading “Christmas 7: Lords and Lollards (For John Wyclif)”

Christmas 6: How we grow

And Mary treasured in her heartthe mystery, the sheerbeyondness of what she held and did not hold.He already moved from her grasp,wiser than her and Joseph combined,outsmarting his teachers,taking himself off for theological talks,when she had hardly finished feeding him.Only time stood between her and total loss, onlyyears before a sword would pierceher own soulContinue reading “Christmas 6: How we grow”