|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 then a rack or grave.
From Christmas by George Herbert.
George Herbert was an Anglican priest who died in 1633, during the reign of Charles I of England, those were troubled times. This is an extract from his poem, Christmas. That little star we looked for on Sunday is now a glorious, but contracted light, powerful enough to transform a dark soul into a better lodging for Christ – a better lodging than the rack which in Herbert’s time had replaced the Cross as an instrument of torture; a better lodging than the grave that only held Christ until the third day. Christmas and Easter are parts of the same story.
Lord, do not be a stranger to me. Shine your light into my soul. Help me to follow the star this Advent, however many distractions get in the way.