O source of all good,
What shall I render to you for the gift of gifts,
your own dear Son?
Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart,
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me!
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind!
Let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father!
Place me with ox, donkey, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin!
Let me with Simeon clasp the newborn child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his!
In him you have given me so much that heaven can give no more.
- From The Valley of Vision
December 25, 2010 2 Comments
‘Tis the season of traditions.
My family has a few: Christmas Eve candlelight service, an attempt at a family picture by the tree, a large midday meal, a slow gift-opening process (Mom insists we write a thank-you after each one).
I enjoy traditions — the anticipation, the regularity, the memories. Though nothing’s wrong with taking pleasure in the act of carrying out traditions, we rob ourselves of their intended purpose if we stop there. The traditions we value most go beyond sentimental ritual — they remind us of what we treasure in the past, present, and future.
So tonight during my church’s candlelight service, I will delight in the sound of voices and strings lifting up familiar carols — and contemplate the day when all God’s people will join in perfect praise.
Tomorrow as my family fails several times before getting a decent photo and later sits down for a Christmas meal, I will tease the person who ALWAYS has his eyes closed and savor the delicious food — and thank God for His continual blessings of home and family.
And as we make our way through this year’s pile of gifts, I will enjoy seeing what everyone receives — and remember that my greatest gift, salvation, was bought with blood and will last forever.
May our traditions this Christmas flow from recognition of our true Treasure — Christ Jesus, our Emmanuel.
December 24, 2010 No Comments