Incarnation

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incarnation-1

Image scanned from an old Christmas card

The climax of the Christmas season will soon be here. This year a book that has directed my Advent focus is Light Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany (compiled by Sarah Arthur).

One of the readings for the first week of Advent (“Incarnation” by Amit Majmudar) especially captured my imagination over the miracle of the incarnation. Here are some lines:

1. Incarnation

Inheart yourself, immensity. Immarrow,
Embone, enrib yourself. The wind won’t borrow
A plane, nor water climb aboard a current,
But you be all we are, and all we aren’t.
….
…For eyes, just take two suns and shrink them.
Make all your thoughts as small as you can think them.
Encrypt in flesh, enigma, what we can’t
Quite English…. – Read entire…

Another poem that has expanded my view of the incarnation in the past is by my friend Darlene Moore Berg who is also a medical doctor. Her medically informed perspective comes through in “Embrylogy” with its ending that connects that event 2000+ years ago to each Love-accepting heart now:

Embryology

A subtle thing
one simple moment to the next
a rhythm, a pulsatile beat
and the heart of God
takes on a mortal cadence.

In a dark, muffled womb
four chambers form—room
to comprehend the flow
of human blood…

A coil of ear widens open
to the Voice of Heaven-
whispers of Divinity
knit into the ossicles

(last stanza)

embryonic genesis
a life takes flesh,
manifests ultimate Love
stretches forth
across a Universe
to be born within a human heart.  Read entire…

So my wish for you, for me, for all of us is that this Christmas we would experience this “birth” and the “abide” that follows:

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in;
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel. (- Phillips Brooks, 4th stanza lyric of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

Pivot night

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“He gave up his divine privileges … and was born as a human being…” – Philippians 2: 7 NLT (Photo courtesy Pixabay.com)

 

Pivot Night

Under ancient curse
Ushered through canal of pain
Tiny, pink, squalling

History pivots, the night
Yahweh incarnates the Star

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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The daughter of my friend is in labor right now. And so my mind keeps drifting, this Christmas Eve day, to the ignominy of God submitting Himself to the whole pregnancy / birth process that fell under the curse way back in Genesis.

I think the Apostle Paul explains best what really took place in Mary nine months before delivery, culminating with a squalling, pink newborn in her arms that first “Christmas” morning.

May the significance of that event, God’s gift of a Savior as announced by the angels, connect with us these many years later:

“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.

Luke 2:11,14 – NLT

 

To all who read here I wish a Blessed and Meaningful Christmas!

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller.  The topic this month is GIFTS.

Bells Across the Snow

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Snowy park bench

Scene from our morning walk, December 2013. (Photo © 2014 by V. Nesdoly)

Bells Across the Snow

O Christmas, merry Christmas,
Is it really come again,
With its memories and greetings,
With its joy and with its pain!
There’s a minor in the carol
And a shadow in the light,
And a spray of cypress twining
With the holly wreath tonight.
And the hush is never broken
By laughter light and low,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

O Christmas, merry Christmas,
‘Tis not so very long
Since other voices blended
With the carol and the song!
If we could but hear them singing,
As they are singing now,
If we could but see the radiance
Of the crown on each dear brow,
There would be no sigh to smother,
No hidden tear to flow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

O Christmas, merry Christmas,
This never more can be;
We cannot bring again the days
Of our unshadowed glee,
But Christmas, happy Christmas,
Sweet herald of good will,
With holy songs of glory.
Brings holy gladness still.
For peace and hope may brighten,
And patient love may glow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

– Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

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This lovely poem is part of the reading for December 24th in the classic devotional, Streams in the Desert. As I read it this morning, I thought of my friend whose husband died a week ago yesterday.

I wish her, and all who hear that “minor in the carol,” those “holy songs of glory” because of the hope that Jesus’ coming to earth brought.