Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.
O Morning Star,
Readings (Click the links to see the readings)
Carlo Gesualdo. O Oriens from the Sacrae cantiones. La Main Harmonique, dir. Frédéric Bétous.
Restore us, O Lord, we pray,
What was it that changed when this particular baby was born in Bethlehem? Why is it a vital part of the story of the whole world? Christians have a quite elaborate answer, in terms of how this was the moment when God began to live as a human being, began to live the life that led to his redeeming death and transforming resurrection. But just for a minute, put this on hold. If you were an unbeliever or half-believer, what might convince you that this did indeed mark a change so significant that we'd still be thinking about it after two thousand years?
…you may or may not believe what Christian doctrine says about the child in the manger; but you will, consciously or not, be looking at the human world in a framework that Jesus Christ made possible—which is, incidentally, quite a good reason for thinking twice before rejecting the doctrine. A vision has been introduced into the world that cannot be expelled.…
I don't believe that in fact it could be possible to forget. When modern tyrannies have tried to make people forget, memory has shown itself pretty tenacious, secretly, obstinately, subversively. After all, if it's simply true that Jesus was born and lived and died and rose as he did, things just have changed; you can deny that the sun has risen if you like, but only by insisting on keeping your eyes tight shut. All around, the landscape has changed, and people are discovering that they are capable of living differently in the company of Jesus. … Remember this day; this was when the new creation began.
Of Christmas Sorrows