Preparing the Heart: Overcome by Light


Rather than “we shall overcome”, today is the day we shall be overcome by the Light in the darkness of the world.

Nativity by N.C. Wyeth

Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
~Christina Rossetti “Christmas Eve”


Illustration by Linda Richardson of “Christmas Eve” by Christina Rossetti


You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12


…the deepest darkness is the place where God comes to us.
In the womb, in the night, in the dreaming;
when we are lost, when our world has come undone,
when we cannot see the next step on the path;
in all the darkness that attends our life,
whether hopeful darkness or horrendous,
God meets us.
God’s first priority is not to do away with the dark but to be present to us in it.
~Jan Richardson



2 thoughts on “Preparing the Heart: Overcome by Light

  1. Happy Christmas to you and your family, Emily — thank you for your ministry of words and images this year!


  2. “Like” does not quite say it all, dear Emily.

    Wyeth’s painting is new to me. It fits my conception of what that night of Redemption and Hope might have looked like in reality. Humble, sacred, ‘light of the world’ come as promised (visible to those who have eyes to see it).

    Jan Richardson sums up what we believe is the reason for the Incarnation -‘ Emmanuel, God With Us.’
    Beyond beautiful, it is soul comforting, soul searing….

    …as is your ministry through Barnstorming, Emily Polis Gibson.
    It makes the phrase, ‘bread cast upon the waters…’ take on new meaning.
    May you and your wonderful family – and all your beloved animals down to the smallest barn mice,
    be blessed with our Savior’s Peace and strength to carry on….



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