The Nativity – John Donne
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves his well-beloved imprisonment,
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come;
But oh, for thee, for him, that th’inn no room?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars, and wisemen will travel to prevent
Th’effect of Herod’s jealous general doom.
Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how he
Which fills all place, yet none holds him doth lie?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss him, and with him into Egypt go,
With his kind mother, who partakes thy woe.
The above is one stanza of John Donne’s longer poem detailing the mysterious glory of our faith. I love it. I wanted to share it with you and one more reading that has captured me this Advent. This one is from “Watch for the Light” a book of readings for Advent and Christmas.
“Perfect love, the apostle John writes, casts out fear. So when God’s angel broke the good news of the Savior’s birth to the cowering shepherds of Bethlehem, “Fear not” was more than in instruction for them to get up off the ground and stop shielding their frightened faces. It was a declaration of war on fear. “ – Johann Christoph Arnold
It is Christmas Eve eve. The world, my world is settling down in a quietness of still expectancy. Settling down but not stopping. There is no cease fire from pain into the lives of those around us, next to us. Not for the world, not for those we love and not for us. And yet, it is exactly into this life, this pain, this glory, this mess that Jesus came with his holy interruption and interrupts us still.
There is hope. Pain and sorrow and grief are not the truest thing.
There is hope. There is life. There is JESUS!
Jesus did come. He is coming again. He will come for us today. He is our hope. He is our Love. He is perfect. And perfect love casts out all fear.
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and everything good and holy and hope filled and hope fulfilled that that means! Jesus has you and is very near. Fear not.
And let Heaven and Nature Sing!