The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame. At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. Zephaniah 3: 17, 19-20
There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home.
For men are homesick in their homes, And strangers under the sun, And they lay on their heads in a foreign land Whenever the day is done.
A Child in a foul stable, Where the beasts feed and foam; Only where He was homeless Are you and I at home;
To the end of the way of the wandering star, To the things that cannot be and that are, To the place where God was homeless And all men are at home. ~G.K. Chesterton from “The House of Christmas”
Even when I am weary,
one foot in front of the other
whether in my clinic seeing patient after patient,
or in the daily chores of the barn
I know His respite comes and refuge is near.
I remember how our good God
prepares us in such a place as this,
what He did to bring us home
when we ache for Him.
Our only hope and comfort is in Him.
He brings us home.
Homeless no longer, but homefull.
Though you are homeless Though you’re alone I will be your home Whatever’s the matter Whatever’s been done I will be your home I will be your home I will be your home In this fearful fallen place I will be your home When time reaches fullness When I move my hand I will bring you home Home to your own place In a beautiful land I will bring you home I will bring you home I will bring you home From this fearful fallen place I will bring you home I will bring you home ~Michael Card
In the cold season, in a locality accustomed to heat more than
to cold, to horizontality more than to a mountain,
a child was born in a cave in order to save the world;
it blew as only in deserts in winter it blows, athwart.
To Him, all things seemed enormous: His mother’s breast, the steam
out of the ox’s nostrils, Caspar, Balthazar, Melchior—the team
of Magi, their presents heaped by the door, ajar.
He was but a dot, and a dot was the star.
Keenly, without blinking, through pallid, stray clouds, upon the child in the manger, from far away– from the depth of the universe, from its opposite end–the star was looking into the cave.
And that was the Father’s stare. ~Joseph Brodsky from Nativity Poems
We are not forgotten:
and this is the point.
A marvelous sight to see, a wonderful sound to hear
as we too are revealed in His Glory.
Deep in the cold of winter, Darkness and silence were eve’rywhere; Softly and clearly, there came through the stillness a wonderful sound, A wonderful sound to hear.
All bells in paradise I heard them ring, Sounding in majesty the news that they bring; All bells in paradise I heard them ring, Welcoming our Saviour, born on earth, a heavenly King. All bells in paradise, I heard them ring, ‘Glory to God on high’ the angel voices sing.
Lost in awe and wonder, Doubting I asked what this sign may be; Christ, our Messiah, revealed in a stable, A marvelous sight, a marvelous sight to see.
He comes down in peace, A child in humility, The keys to his kingdom belong to the poor; Before him shall kneel the kings with their treasures, Gold, incense, and myrrh.
Between the known and the unknown. ~Robert Francis “Nothing is Far”
Heaven and earth are only three feet apart,
but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.
A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted
and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God.
A few times
in a few places
I have felt like I can almost reach out
and touch heaven
~His glory is that close~
but too soon I pull back,
put my hand back in my pocket,
rock back on my heels,
between the known
and the unknown.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much I cannot give that you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within reach, is joy. Take joy! There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see; and to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look. Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
~Fra Giovanni , a late 15th century monk and scholar, fromSeeking Peace
We are reminded each day, as the night overtakes the light, that we have only to look and take what is gifted to us: the splendor and glory lies under the cover of darkness.
Each of us dwell in shadow, unwilling to be exposed and naked for all to see our failings, our blemishes and our weaknesses. We hide who we are, missing the offering up of this day, this moment.
Find rest today, this Sabbath, and take what is so freely given:
take heaven, take peace, take joy, take life on fully.
This moment, even when shrouded in darkness, never comes again.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
a spider’s web under the olive trees
splendidly hung with early drops, already
vanishing up the vortex of the air
…a heaven-sent refreshment? or a curtain
cutting out the light?
And I must ask it now (small moisture that I am) under the sun of God’s great grace on me: Which am I–dew, or fog? ~Luci Shaw from “…for you are a mist“
To be mere mist that clarifies
rather than opacifies,
that reflects new worlds
rather than absorbs,
that replenishes grace
rather than depletes~
at once evaporating heaven-ward within His warmth
while glistening from His descended touch.