An Advent Tapestry–To Be Consoled and Confirmed

Gerrit van Honthorst "L'adoration des bergers"

”Look upon the baby Jesus. Divinity may terrify us. Inexpressible majesty will crush us. That is why Christ took on our humanity…that he should not terrify us but rather that with love and favor he should console and confirm.” Martin Luther

detail from Domenico Ghirlandaio's Adoration of the Shepherds

An Advent Tapestry–Mercy Clothed in Light

Adoration of the Child by Gerrit van Honthorst

 

God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.

from “Notes from the Other Side” by Jane Kenyon

It is the fact of the promise that is most astonishing.  The covenant extends beyond the chosen children of God to include all people, everywhere, with an enveloping invitation that can not be resisted:  Peace on Earth!  Good will to all men!

So mercy is found wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger where only dirty and smelly shepherds could find it.  It is right where it belongs, among the poor, the tired, the meek, the unwanted, the lonely, the ill, and the discouraged.

Let the light shine forth, welcoming us all to be bathed clean in the fountain of mercy.