Announces the Light which has come into the world; The Light of Truth. The Light of Love, which coming into our world of darkness cannot be extinguished. It is a Candle flickering in the wind of the night, and the darkness cannot destroy it. Its constant flame is our guide. It is the Light which attracts all people of Truth, all people of Love
In humility we bow low to the Light, full of wonder; and marvel at the power of so simple a thing which overpowers and transforms everything. and the light, entering our hearts, shines in us, and the dark world is subdued.
Rejoice, Love has come into the world for Love does not send another,
…..HE COMES HIMSELF.
[Mr G December 1973 revised 2005]
Photo: Outdoor Crib at Bethlem Chapel, Prague Photo taken by Gill Henwood
Christmas Day fox. Latton Foxes Series photo by The Revd Lynn Hurry
My friend Lynn sent me a couple of photos of one of the fox cubs in Latton Vicarage Garden. A few of them are still there though have grown quite a bit since we last saw them here. Lynn also sent me a poem she found online called Baby Jesus and the Fox. It was written by Stephanie and was first published on her blogsite Books are Cool on December 4th 2011. Please visit her blog for other writings by her.
The fox stood at the top of the hill In the freezing snow, so deep and still. Then he began to travel down, Something was calling him into town.
Normally he stayed well clear But tonight he overcame his fear. He knew exactly where to go So he crept through the shadows, keeping low.
He found the stable fairly soon And hid in a corner, in the gloom. He watched with glowing amber eyes And heard a tiny baby’s cries.
Soon Mary and Joseph fell asleep. Now was the fox’s chance to peep! He cautiously left his hiding place And gazed at Baby Jesus’s face.
A chilly wind began to blow Bringing another flurry of snow. The cold made the fox’s whiskers quiver And Baby Jesus began to shiver.
And so without a thought of danger The fox jumped up into the manger. He laid his golden, bushy tail Over the baby, cold and pale.
The fox lay there for quite a while Till Jesus warmed up, and began to smile. He tickled the fox’s furry head, Then surprised him when he suddenly said:
“Both you and I will be hunted down, Your fate hounds’ teeth, mine a thorny crown. Men hate us though we do no wrong, And hatred is cruel, fierce and strong,
But love, like the love you’ve just shown me, Will save us all eventually.” Then Baby Jesus began to doze, Still gently stroking the fox’s nose.
The pink of dawn began to glow. The fox knew that he had to go. He was puzzled by the baby’s words But he knew it was goodness that he’d heard.
He quietly got up and slunk away, To struggle through another day. But when he got back to his wood He found a pile of tempting food –
Bread and cheese, and meat and fish, Everything a fox could wish! As he ate he smiled in a foxy way: Today was a truly magical day.
My friend Joyce’s latest photo Tweet takes, as its theme, the soaring flight over the earth which symbolizes the coming of the Christ-Child in the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph. Joyce chooses the caption which takes up this theme ; –
This Holy Night heaven reached down to earth.
The stooping down of God to embrace earth and all creation with His saving Love has an echo in those moments in a faith journey where we encounter heaven opening and sense God’s presence so keenly that it takes our breath away and for a time we feel drawn into God’s embrace. These are our thin moments when the membrane that separates earth from heaven is so thin that we could be in either place. As indeed we are, and far more than we realize. God is very near but unless we are still, it is easy to miss Him. A bit like the Whisky Priest in Graham Greene’s novel, The Power and the Glory who “missed happiness by seconds at the appointed place.”
All but a few shepherds and animals missed God’s coming at the appointed place of Bethlehem in the stillness of the Night.. As the writer of the Book of Wisdom in the Old Testament put it in the beautiful words in Chapter 18:
When all things were in quiet silence and the night was in the midst of her swift course, Down from the heavens, from your Royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word.
Being attentive to God’s coming to us in our lives means watching and hoping with real expectancy that He will indeed Come. And whilst we might not always meet Him at the appointed place, that is not the final moment or place. God is always waiting and creating new thin places of meeting, each Christmas being an absolute certainty of that truth.
For reasons we hardly can fathom, He has this ‘thing’ about touching us with the love and joy pouring constantly from His heart. In Jesus He shows us just what that means.
So with the 17th century Poet, Richard Crawshaw in his poem, In the Holy Nativity of God, let us gratefully say :
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.