“Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”
– The Book of Isaiah, chapter fifty-seven verse nineteen
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
– The Book of Luke, chapter two verse fourteen
In honor of the season…
If this birth had been announced to the nobility of this world and the shepherds had compared themselves with these men of influence and their wisdom and wealth, it would have been frightening to them. For men fear power and stand in awe of wisdom. If Christ had come with trumpets and had had a cradle of gold, his birth would have been a splendid affair. But it would not be comforting to me. He was rather to lie in the lap of a poor maiden and be considered of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Now I can come to him. Martin Luther
It is not for the angels to be proud of Christ’s incarnation, for Christ did not assume angelic but a human nature. Therefore it would not be a surprise if the angels looked at us with envy in their eyes because we human beings, creatures far inferior to them and sinners besides, are placed above them into an honor so high and great. They worship Christ, who has become our Brother, our flesh and blood; and yet they are not envious but gladly grant us the honor and are sincerely pleased by the fact that Christ is our Brother. They marvel at the human nature in Christ; and yet the honor and glory are not theirs but ours. And we human beings are unable to rejoice and be proud of it… Is this not a great pity? Accursed of God be this wretched unbelief! Martin Luther
[T]he birth of Jesus is a glorious moment, and the manger scene brings comfort and joy and Christmas cheer. But it should also inspire a holy terror in us: that this baby is God incarnate, the King who came to set the captives free—through His violent, bloody death on the cross as atonement for us, His unworthy subjects. Chuck Colson
The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man–a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
If a man called Christmas Day a mere hypocritical excuse for drunkenness and gluttony, that would be false, but it would have a fact hidden in it somewhere. But when Bernard Shaw says that Christmas Day is only a conspiracy kept up by Poulterers and wine merchants from strictly business motives, then he says something which is not so much false as startling and arrestingly foolish. He might as well say that the two sexes were invented by jewelers who wanted to sell wedding rings. G. K. Chesterton
Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate. G. K. Chesterton
The great majority of people will go on observing forms that cannot be explained; they will keep Christmas Day with Christmas gifts and Christmas benedictions; they will continue to do it; and some day suddenly wake up and discover why. G. K. Chesterton
by Edgar Albert Guest
A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season is here;
Then he’s thinking more of others than he’s thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
When it’s Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part;
He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart.
All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile
And the true reward he’s seeking is the glory of a smile.
Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I’d wait
Till he’d fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate.
I’d not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of self,
On the long days and the dreary when he’s striving for himself.
I’d not take him when he’s sneering, when he’s scornful or depressed,
But I’d look for him at Christmas when he’s shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he’s oft misunderstood;
There are days the worst that’s in him is the master of the good,
But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside
And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide.
Oh, I don’t know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me
That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.
The House of Christmas
by G. K. Chesterton
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.
This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home…
And, yes, we will even have a…
Top Ten Things To Say About A Christmas Present You Don’t Like
10. Hey! There’s a gift!
9. Well, well, well …
8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would’ve fit.
7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.
6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.
5. If the dog buries it, I’ll be furious!
4. I love it — but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.
3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.
2. To think — I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
And the Number One Thing to say about a Christmas gift you don’t like:
1. “I really don’t deserve this.”