The Gift of Gifts

Statue Christianity Faith Jesus Maria Fig Santon
image

O Source of All Good,
What shall I give to you for the gift of gifts,
   your own dear Son, begotten, not created,
   my Redeemer, surrogate, surety, substitute,
   his self-emptying incomprehensible,
   his infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders:
   he came below to raise me above,
   was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
   when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
      to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
   when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
   he united them with enduring unity,
      the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
   when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
      no intellect to devise recovery,
   he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the utmost,
      as man to die my death,
      to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
      to work out a perfect righteousness for me.
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
   and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
   and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
   my conscience bathed in an ocean of tranquility,
   my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
   to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
   and in him account myself delivered from my sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,
   embrace him with undying faith,
   exulting that he is mine and I am his.
In him you have given me so much that heaven can give no more.

________________

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

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