Are we always creating you, as Rilke said,
Trying, on our best days,
To make possible your coming-into-existence?
Or are you merely a story told in the dark,
A child's drawing of barn and star?
Each year you are born again. It is no remedy
For what we go on doing to each other,
For history's blind repetitions of hate and reprisal.
Here I am again, huddled in hope. For what
Do I wait?—I know you only as something missing,
And loved beyond reason.
As a word in my mouth I do not know how to embody.
—The Southern Review 40.2, Spring 2004, p. 225.
Thank you Father, for your patience
With a rebellious people
Loving you one moment
Forgetting you the next
Thank you for your endless love
Which does not give up
But wants the best for us
Despite our faults
Thank you for your promise
To all who believe
And put their trust in you
And in this Advent season
May the Baptist’s call
Resound in hearts and minds
Drawing many to the living water
Where they might find forgiveness
And knowledge of your Salvation. Amen.
2016 UK £20 Silver Coin. This is the first Christmas coin struck by The Royal Mint. The nativity on the reverse is by Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph in Wales, his second design for a 'round pound'. The obverse is a 2015 design by Jody Clark, picturing HM The Queen. The £20 coin is 99.9% silver and 27 mm in size; 30,000 have been minted.
Felix Mendelssohn, Christus, Op. 97 Recitative: When Jesus, Our Lord - Trio: Say, Where is He Born. Anne Ackley, Westminster Choir, cond. Joseph Flummerfelt, Philadelphia Concerto Soloists, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
We're getting ready for Christmas; and it's worth remembering that one of the things we celebrate at Christmas is God taking an interest in the real material stuff of this earth, the flesh and blood, and all the things that keep flesh and blood secure—food and shelter and so on. It would be pretty peculiar if we took the world less seriously than God does.…
There are plenty of things we can do to scale down our extravagant use of energy and the amount of waste we produce (that's certainly a challenge at Christmas!). These things will only happen if we learn to love the world we're in. And Christmas is a good time for rediscovering that … a chance to rediscover something about love, for the world and for each other. —Rowan Williams, BBC Radio 2, 8 December 2009.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.