Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.
Readings (Click the links to see the readings)
Nativity scene from Enrique de Arfe's C16th gold monstrance, in the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, Spain
The monstrance is over 2m high, but this scene set into it is quite small.
Click the image to enlarge it
The tin cock
And the barn
Giovanni Gabrieli. Salvator noster for 15 voices in 3 choirs, with orchestra (1615).
Salvator noster, hodie dilectissimi natus est.
Creator God, you who love us more than we can know
The Christian in Advent needs to listen—to such a degree that this season becomes both a season of joyful expectancy and a season of poverty—the knowledge that we cannot talk and touch ourselves into life, the deep poverty of the imagination which can only stand helplessly before the outrages and miseries of our world, utterly at a loss for a word of meaning or hope to speak. We are here at all, celebrating Advent … because there has been a word of unexpected interruption, a word that establishes for good the difference between the God we expect and the God who comes, a word that shows us once and for all what an idol looks like in the face of truth. We are here because those acts we call liberation and absolution have turned our history into new and strange courses …
Yet we cannot imagine how tomorrow and the day after that form of liberation and absolution will renew itself, how the word will go on making itself heard to renew ,the world. We are perpetually looking to and giving thanks for an uncovenanted event, a transforming newness, the history of Israel and Jesus; we are perpetually "on the eve" of God's coming, knowing and not knowing what it will be. Advent insists that we stay for a while in this tension of being "on the eve," if only in order that the new thing we celebrate at Christmas may have a chance of being truly new for us, not a stale and pious cliché.