O Thou, whose glorious yet contracted light, Wrapt in night’s mantle, stole into a manger; Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right, To Man of all beats be not thou a stranger. This stanza, from George Herbert’s 16th century poem Christmas, is shot through with language and images we still associate with theRead more
“The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”(Luke 2.20) Like many others our family didn’t have an expansive budget at Christmas. Whatever preexisting financial pressure there was, it didn’t dissipate in December. My parents took this in stride, however, and Christmas never felt lacking butRead more
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring greatRead more
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2.14) My wife and I recently wandered through the Christmas decoration department of a local store. Among the ornaments and other trappings was a particularly large nativity set. All the regular characters were present (shepherds, angels, etc.)Read more
“… there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished …” (Luke 2.16-17) A friend of mine was marveling this week at how many people are interested inRead more
You remember that scene. Charlie Brown is at his wit’s end, distraught and disillusioned about Christmas. Surely it has more to do with all these trivial trappings, all this commercialized nonsense.“Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?!” he shouts when his plans of trying to make sense of Christmas are falling through. LinusRead more
How the eye’s happy holding Early light, bright-shafting over The chapel, igniting late leaves, Embers among the conifers. How the windows fill with colour As empty houses glad-glow With heaven treasure; The world’s Lamp lit, in patient advance. How gentle grows the pail gold, Drawing out the good bearing On all creatures; a kinder wordRead more
Cold blue curtains rise off dappled slate, Where winds blow west out the mountain gate, Up calm country tall and set adrift Light thoughts, air here thin enough to lift.
Give me grey sheets, streams on streams, Rivers vertical in reams; Colours warm descending round, Blankets strewn about the ground; Death on death, browns and golds, Forests bursting at the folds; Tables full with laugher loud, The meek, the most, the small, the proud; Hands for prayer and tears for thanks, Friendly commune without ranks;Read more
Drawn in darkest green-gloom sits the Water-mouth, mighty cedar, mountain, Striking some somber note, haunting note: Mystery for the unsurprised mind; Depth where imagination dim-delves; A portal unknown known through The wall drawing.