…we should not try to escape a sense of awe, almost a sense of fright, at what God has done. . . . Nothing can alter the fact that we live on a visited planet. We shall be celebrating no beautiful myth, no lovely piece of traditional folklore, but a solemn fact. God has been here once historically, but, as millions will testify, he will come again with the same silence and the same devastating humility into any human heart ready to receive him.
~J.B. Phillips from Watch for the Light
I want to be like Mary, awed yet accepting, as the angel interrupts her daily routine with an incredible announcement.
I want to be like the shepherds, silenced and aghast, flattened with so much fear that I need to be reminded “do not be afraid.”
I want to be like Joseph whose life is never to be the same again, as my self-sufficiency and sense of “how things should be” is shot through and leaking dry.
Only then my heart will be ready to receive this visitor. Only then.
1. This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from your door,
But hearken all both rich and poor.
2. The first thing which I do relate,
Is That God did man create
The next thing which to you I tell,
Woman was made with man to dwell.
3. Then after this was God’s own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free
Except they eat of such a tree.
4. But they did eat, which was a sin,
And thus their ruin did begin —
Ruin’d themselves, both you and me,
And all of their posterity.
5. Thus we were as heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose
And so a promise soon did run
That He would redeem us by His Son.
~the Herefordshire Carol
Collected by E. M. Williams from Mr. W. Jenkins, Kings Pyon, Herefordshire, July, 1909. Music Noted by R. Vaughan William