Saturday, December 17, 2011


Come, bright star, now is your time. For this purpose you were created at the beginning of time, and have bided for aeons hidden amongst so many others, far away, where men must stretch their eyes to notice you at all. When Abraham was called to look up at the countless stars, his eyes slid straight past you, there was nothing to distinguish you from myriads of others. But now is the perfect moment of God’s eternal plan. It is time for you to catch resplendent fire, so that those who watch the heavens will read your meaning, and will follow you through the desert places to have the privilege of worshipping the newborn Desire of Nations.

Come, old woman, priest’s wife bowed under the burden of barrenness. Your husband is struck dumb, but you will feel the wonder in your own flesh, for a son will be born to you, past hope or expectation, the forerunner long foretold. And you will tingle with the awe of those who walk amongst miracles, for by this sign of life within a long-dead womb, you will know of the approach of the Messiah. And you shall know the favour of the Lord, and his Spirit shall come upon you, and you will give comfort and strength to the virgin mother in her time of need.

Come, sheep in the Bethlehem pastures. In just a few short months your feckless, woolly lives will be interrupted by the jubilation song of Heaven. For a little while the angels of God themselves will watch over you, while your shepherds speed to the town to see this wondrous sign, a child wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger. For He, Himself, has come to be the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep, and the day will come, years from now, when no more of you will be dragged from your flocks to lie beneath the knife of the priests, for there will be no more priests, no more temple, no more altars – just the one perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sin of the whole world.

Come, little, ordinary Judean town. Once you were the birthplace of a king, but now all your bustling is to prepare yourself to obey the edict of a distant emperor. His word is law, but in your midst a greater king than David will be born; one who has come to overthrow the law of sin and death, and His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and He shall be called the Prince of Peace. But though He shall be among you, and kings from a far country will come to give their homage, you will know nothing of him, and when Herod’s soldiers come with their cruel swords, you will have no idea why your children die. But for a little while you will give shelter to the Son of Man who has nowhere to lay His head.

Come, carpenter of Nazareth. You must take to wife the woman who bears our only hope in her womb. Things you do not understand will happen all around you, and you must be steadfast. It is not asked that you should comprehend these things, (could any man do that?), it is only asked that you should be faithful to your charge, to protect the one who was born to die through these vulnerable years, until it is His time to give His life as a ransom for many.

Come, busy world, cease your strife for a moment to hear the prophets’ promise and the angels’ song. Through these aching ages you have battled thorns and thistles, and seen your greatest hopes return to dust. You have sought on the high horizons for the glittering things you prize, but when you get closer, they fade like a mirage. But He will come, in the darkness, and you will not even see Him. And He will be despised and rejected of men. He is the answer to the questions you are too afraid to ask. And He will call you to come to Him, and you will turn away your eyes. But He will love you still, though death and hell shall get in the way. For He is coming to you to be the Saviour of the world, and to plant His deathless kingdom in your midst.

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