Friday, December 25, 2009

Nativity of the Lord: By Monk Michael (Greek Orthodox)

An artistic expression of our Lord becoming flesh and dwelling among us. (Read Galatians 4:4ff.)

An icon rich in meaning...

Christmas: George Herbert (1593-1633)


ALL after pleasures as I rid one day,
My horse and I, both tir’d, bodie and minde,
With full crie of affections, quite astray ;
I took up in the next inne I could finde.

There when I came, whom found I but my deare,
My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief
Of pleasures brought me to him, readie there
To be all passengers most sweet relief?

O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light,
Wrapt in night's mantle, stole into a manger ;
Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right,
To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger :

Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have
A better lodging, than a rack, or grave.

THE shepherds sing ; and shall I silent be?
My God, no hymne for thee?
My soul ’s a shepherd too : a flock it feeds
Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
The pasture is thy word ; the streams, thy grace
Enriching all the place.
Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers
Out-sing the day-light houres.
Then we will chide the sunne for letting night
Take up his place and right :

We sing one common Lord ; wherefore he should
Himself the candle hold.

I will go searching, till I finde a sunne
Shall stay, till we have done ;
A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,
As frost-nipt sunnes look sadly.
Then we will sing, and shine all our own day,
And one another pay :
His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
Till ev’n his beams sing, and my musick shine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Profound Worship: Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585)

Listening to Tallis
I am no longer confined by four walls.
The room somehow grows eternally large.
It is big.
It is mysterious.
Words cannot describe.
I am lost, yet I feel close to home.
And when there is pause,
I feel the silence.
It is a heavy silence.
It is a silence that makes me realize that I was somewhere else.
But, now I am here.
And, I long....
I want to go back to that place.
That place, profound.
That place, divine.