Monday, December 12, 2005
Creation's True Voice Part 2
Surely, as Christians, we should be looking for ways to give Creation its true voice. The voice that declares the glory of its Creator (Ps. 19). Advent and Christmas give us special opportunities to do so.
So the evergreen tree becomes, not the mere human fertility symbol of the pagans' religion, but the sign of the Divine imparting impossible, eternal Life on a dead world. The pagans' decorate their trees with fruit, symbolizing (again) a hope for fertility. We decorate ours with fruit (what did you think the glass balls were?) as a reminder of our losses in the Garden of Eden, and as a token that once again we are offered the Tree of Life by the One who died on a tree to give us this fruit.
Or perhaps we decorate our trees with Chrismons, emblems of the many titles and honors our Jesus has earned. Our family learned to make Chrismons with our dear friends, the Dows, this summer, while brainstorming a women's retreat on family traditions and holiday merry-making.
And how about those old carols? The Christian tradition was to imitate the angels who could not contain their joy and wonder at the Incarnation. We take to the streets, singing the good news. Actually, our family likes to take gifts and baking to shut-ins and families in need on a caroling night during Advent. After all, we are declaring the coming of the Bread of Heaven, the Gift of God.
What stubborn tangible will you loose to speak its true meaning this season?
Not since croned Adam cast Creation's burning orb
To harpy-hands' lust for kingship's harvests,
Has this stale world warmed to man's will
Th' immortal meanings it might have held.
Flesh is flesh, grappling visibles whose incorporeal fulcrum's lost,
Steming, aching. Noting more. Never full, never
Speaking the renewing word. Stock answers to the stabled darkness,
"Fodder", "Fold", the dread familiar.
Nt til that one Obedient th' occulted world descried...
Now darkness burns with Beings, Facts far brighter than His star;
The humble, the trembling gil, dirty straw, flesh itself are hallowed here
To God, glad to speak at last the language of His glory.
Incarnate Speech, this simple Child, schools our Yule obedience:
The commonplace gives tongue in candled home and caroled thanks.
So taught, we tame the stubborn tangibles,
Since Bethlehem's Babe first brought the sacrifice of praise.
All rights reserved. Copyright 1980. Kim Anderson