B.C. / A.D.

Away in a manger 2

No longer is God simply on high,
he is now down below.
No longer does God intimidate,
he now lies helpless in a manger.
No longer should we surmise that sin shuts down
God’s love, Bethlehem tells us otherwise.
No longer does death reign,
the Giver of life has appeared.
No longer must we remain “lost and ruined
by the Fall”, redemption has come.

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B.C. / A.D.

Bethlehem changes 4

No longer is God simply God,
he is also man.
No longer should we ask what God is like,
he is present in our midst.
No longer must we inquire what love looks like,
he has come to dwell among us.
No longer does darkness rule unchecked;
the Light of the world has come.
No longer should we retreat in fear;
Bethlehem invites us to draw near.

B.C. / A.D.

Bethlehem changes all

No longer is God far off;
he has drawn near.
No longer is God invisible;
he has become tangible and observable.
No longer is God out of reach;
he has become approachable and touchable.
No longer should people attempt
to find God; God has found us.
No longer is deity separate from humanity;
they have become one.

The Humanity of God

Giovanni copyWrinkled, Crinkled
Red-skinned Squirmer
Famished Squealer,
Manger Wetter.
Gabriel salutes you!
Michael bows!
We here in Bethlehem
Bed you with cows.
We here in Bethlehem
Bed you with cows.

–Stephen Mahan

Crazy Shepherds

Bethlehem-3

What to make of distant shouts
of hearty shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem
who after setting foot in a rustic stable
went on their way piercing the night air
with jubilant cries of ecstatic revelry?
Was it strong drink that produced
this riotous elation or had these
unruly herdsmen come across
something to really shout about?

Published in: on 12/14/2017 at 4:02  Leave a Comment  
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The Descent of God

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He has entered our flesh,
our frailty, our failures.
You don’t have to lift
yourself an inch.
He’s come all the way down.

–Glen Scrivener

Published in: on 12/14/2016 at 9:30  Leave a Comment  
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A Terrible Force

christmas-backgrounds-manger-l

Loving humility is a terrible force:
it is the strongest of all things,
and there is nothing else like it.

–Fydor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov

One Can Never be Sure

celebrate-the-birth B copy

THE CHILD IS BORN in the night among the beasts. The sweet breath and steaming dung of the beasts. And nothing is ever the same again.

Those who believe in God can never in a way be sure of him again. Once they have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of man . . .

–Frederick Buechner
The Hungering Dark

Searching by starlight

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And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect.
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

–U. A. Fanthorpe

Glory in the common

blank squaredoor-open
When fascinated
with the spectacular,
we will miss glory
in the common.
A stable in Bethlehem
is not exactly
a flashy venue.

–Stephen Crosby

 

Published in: on 11/30/2015 at 17:02  Leave a Comment  
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Dreams come true

shepherds-seeking
The place that
the shepherds found
was not an academy
or an abstract republic,
it was not a place of myths . . .
explained or explained away.
It was a place of dreams
come true.

–G. K. Chesterton
The Everlasting Man

Turning point

door-open

The hinge of history
is on the door
of a Bethlehem stable.

–Ralph W. Sockman

God has spoken

For there is one God, and he is recognizable as the One who came to us in Bethelehem, walked the roads of Galilee, died as a criminal on the cross, and rose from death on Easter. Our one God has spoken so we can know him and his Word to us: Jesus.

–Michael Spencer

 

Divested of distractions

Men are too ready to look upon God as crushing force and cold omniscience. Had Christ appeared on earth with all His splendours about Him, He would have perpetuated our mistake. But He took another way. It is the very essence of the Word to be the Divine expression of the inmost nature of God. The inmost nature of God is love. and when Christ emptied Himself of the excercise of omnipotence and infinite knowledge, He did not empty Himself of love. He divested Himself only of that which would have dazzled and distracted us, in order that we might see His love more perfectly. The self-sacrifice of Bethlehem, leading on to that of Calvary, leaves no room for doubt. The Babe, lying in the manger, is the “sign” (Lk. 2:12) which convinces us of a richer theology than we could have guessed at, and makes us cry, with the angels, “Glory to God in the heights.”

–Arthur J. Mason

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