When Heaven Stoops

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Welcome! all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in winter, day in night!
Heaven in earth, and God in man!
Great little One, whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops Heaven to earth!

–Richard Crashaw
(1613-1649)

Crazy Shepherds

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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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Deity Downsized

jesus-in-the-mangerA lowly Babe lies in the lowly cradle of a lowly town, the offspring of a lowly mother. Look again. That child is the eternal “I AM.” He whose Deity never had birth, is born “the woman’s Seed.” He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant’s age, and infant’s form. He, who never began to be, as God, here begins to be, as man. And can it be, that the great “I AM THAT I AM” shrinks into our flesh, and is little upon our earth, as one newborn of yesterday? It is so. The Lord promised it. Prophets foretold it. Types prefigured it. An angel announces it. Heaven rings with rapture at it. Faith sees it. The redeemed rejoice in it.

–Henry Law

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

The humility of God

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By far the most significant event in the whole course of human history will be celebrated, with or without understanding, at the end of this season of Advent… What we are in fact celebrating is the awe-inspiring humility of God, and no amount of familiarity with the trappings of Christmas should ever blind us to its quiet but explosive significance…

God’s insertion of himself
into human history came about
with an almost frightening
quietness and humility.

…As millions will testify, he will come once again with the same silence and the same devastating humility into any heart which is ready to receive him.

–J. B. Phillips
(1906-1982)

Artwork: Rembrandt

When God drew near

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On a wintry night
in an obscure cave,
the infant Jesus was
a humble, naked,
helpless God who
allowed us to get
close to him.

–Brennan Manning

Image: Michael Dudash

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