Day Eleven — 4 January

The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

1 John 3.7-10 | Psalm 98.1 -6 | John 1.35-42

Sibuea
Erland Sibuea, Bali Nativity 2008.

"Behold the Lamb of God" from Messiah by GF Handel, in a 1979 performance by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, Toronto, directed by Ivars Taurins.

Reflection

You know how sometimes on a pitch black night in the country, you see far off one glimmer of light and you follow it and it turns out to be just a candle in a cottage window—but it was enough to assure you of life ahead, to give you the lead you wanted in the dark. In the same way, when the Magi turned from their abstruse calculations in search of heaven and followed a star, they did not arrive at a great mathematical result or revelation of the cosmic mind. They found a poor little family party and were brought to their knees—because, like the truly wise, they were really humble-minded—before a baby born under most unfortunate circumstances, a mystery of human life, a little living growing thing. What a paradox! the apparently rich Magi coming to the apparently poor child. There they laid down their intellectual treasures—all pure gold to them—and, better than that, offered the spirit of adoration, the incense which alone consecrates the intellectual life and quest of truth, and that reverent acceptance of pain, mental suffering and sacrifice, that death to self which, like myrrh, hallows the dedicated life in all its forms.

The utmost man can achieve on his own here capitulates before the unspeakable simplicity of the methods of God. He is the Light of the World—all of it. He does not only want or illuminate spiritual things. His hallowing touch is for the ox and the ass, as afterwards for the sparrows and the flowers. There never was a less high-brow religion or one more deeply in touch with natural life than Christianity, although it is infinite in its scope. Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same shall be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is no use being too clever about life. Only so far as we find God in it do we find any meaning in it.
—"Light of Christ" by Evelyn Underhill, quoted in Advent with Evelyn Underhill, edited by Christopher L. Webber. Morehouse Publishing, 2006.

Prayer

You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.
Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter's power,
without leaving the heights
You came to the depths in your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and you judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.
—Unknown Author, 10th century

May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.


St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602
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