God Among Us: The Glorious Light


For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given
Isaiah 9:6

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
Hebrews 1:3

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John 1:9-10

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest …
you who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world. Charmed by doves’ voices,
the whisper of straw, he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed who overflowed all skies,
all years. Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught
that I might be free, blind in my womb
to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.
~Luci Shaw “Mary’s Song”


We still don’t recognize Him.
Despite the evidence all around us, above us, beneath us,
inside and within us,
coursing through our veins and arteries
and synapses,
we still don’t know Him.
Listen to the call of the heart
that leads you to His side,
your darkness bathed in His glorious light,
your hurts healed forever by His wounds.


The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart,
    When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
    The sudden joys that out of darkness start
    As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
    Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from “Holidays”


One for the star in the sky over Bethlehem
Two for the hands that will rock him to sleep
Three for the kings bringing gold, brining myrrh, bringing incense
Four for the angels that watch over his bedside
Blue for the robe of the sweet Virgin Mary
White for the dawn of the first Christmas day
Red for the blood that he shed for us all on Good Friday
Black for the tomb where he rested ‘till Easter
Lullaby, see Jesus asleep. Angels and shepherds their watch on him keep
Lullaby he soon will awake for the oxen are stirring and morning with break
One for the star in the sky over Bethlehem
Two for the hands that will rock him to sleep
Three for the kings bringing gold, brining myrrh, bringing incense
Four for the angels that watch over his bedside
And one for the heart, one for the heart,
One for the heart that I give as my offering to Jesus!

Oh Little Child

Oh little child it’s Christmas night
And the sky is filled with glorious light
Lay your soft head so gently down
It’s Christmas night in Bethlehem town.

Alleluia the angels sing
Alleluia to the king
Alleluia the angels sing
Alleluia to the king.

Sleep while the shepherds find their way
As they kneel before you in the golden hay
For they have brought you a woolly lamb
On Christmas night in Bethlehem.


Sleep till you wake at the break of day
With the sun’s first dawning ray
You are the babe, who’ll wear the crown
On Christmas morn in Bethlehem town.


Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia



5 thoughts on “God Among Us: The Glorious Light

  1. Emily, you have wrapped up your Advent series so beautifully and powerfully! They will remain a treasure as long as I have a working computer to store them in, and to read and listen to over and over again. I was breath-caught at the beginning of this one, seeing Luci Shaw’s poem, which I first read many, many years ago and then lost, without knowing who wrote it! You included many old familiar songs and words that have meant much to me over the years–and then added your own poignant words that made my heart and soul respond in kinship with you. Thank you–and a very blessed Christmas to you and yours.
    JoAnn Monaghan


  2. Thank you again Emily for these blessed words. He is here with us now and forever. Susan, pediatrician in CA

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thank you, Emily, for the beautiful and meaningful words this Advent season.
    God’s blessings to you and your family this Christmas.


  4. Dear Emily, Thank you for sharing your heart and faith. These readings, thoughts and songs have been so meaningful through the Advent. My heart is filled with graditude and love. I’ve always loved this time of year and the meaning….it brings to mind the memory of my grandson’s birth on December 2nd, of our driving 4.5 hrs to help bring him home from the hospital, listening to Mary Did You Know and many other rejoicing songs… thinking of Christ’s birth.
    The sun was peeking through the misty fog this morning as I walked down to feed Scharly. The cat followed me and my mind was thinking, Christ was born this morning! Was it this cold? What a glorious day in that stable….. and seeing the images of the visitors drawn to kneel before him. And he wasn’t even a day old as I share my thoughts with you.
    My husband’s dear mother died 8 years ago on Christmas Eve. She was quite a cook, a hard worker, and raised 5 sons. As I made 4 batches of cinnamon rolls last night, mixing and kneading the dough, I thought of her and all the acts of love we see through other’s hands…..and I remember the precious gift I received, to be with her as she took her last breathe. Reminding her to take little breaths and that she would soon be seeing Christ. Thanks for letting me share.
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day!


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