I was very moved as I reflected on the words of Christina Rosetti in the Christmas Carol: In the bleak midwinter.
"Our God, heaven cannot hold him, Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ."
That you should come
That you should come;
That you should walk my dusty, sin-stained planet.
Your unsoiled feet become bruised and sore,
Broken; even bloodied and pierced;
As you come to me.
What mystery of love is this?
What other-worldly, vast, cosmic love is this,
Your very essence condensed and compressed
Constrained and restricted to the body of a child.
A fanfare, yes, of heavenly choirs.
Celestial chorus across the sky,
Unseen, save only by huddled men and boys outside the city wall.
Watching sheep, they witness this great coming.
Long-awaited, the Desire of nations:
Hope for the weary,
Redeemer of souls.
Unhurried you come;
Unnoticed, yet prophesied.
Seen for generations, but missed by your own.
Unheard, yet heralded by ten thousand angelic voices.
Trumpeted through corridors of time
A servant, you come to me;
No thought for your own, you wash my feet.
Wash all of me and I will be clean.
Wash every trace, every stain my guilt.
You touch me; I see your hands
Still marked with scars that tell the price of love.
As a lover you come to me;
Leaping over the mountains, laughing, dancing.
Drawn by love sickness,
I am undone in hidden depths of my soul.
As a prince you come.
Your army is widows and orphans,
Your noblemen: ex-slaves and tear-stained children.
Your horse; a donkey’s colt.
What king is this,
Whose kingdom comes through his own demise?
What king is born;
Borne by a woman who is but a child herself;
And she not of noble birth?
That God himself be nursed and fed at this young mother’s breast,
Whilst heaven looks on?
And still you come,
Bewildering the wisest minds.
You steal and transform the heart.
Your broken army overthrows kingdoms and ideologies.
Relentless, unflinching you love.
Unyielding, unchanging you conquer.
Irresistible as the tide you come
Pursuing your Bride