Strength of the world
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.

The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.

To the end of the way of the
wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

—G. K. Chesterton, extracts from his poem "The House of Christmas"


There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem. The ox and the ass understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today.

—Thomas Merton in "The Seven Storey Mountain"


Theodosius Harnack, Luther scholar of note, said that for Luther the imperative was to have "God deep in the flesh." Christmas celebrates just that: God deep in the flesh. So great was God's longing for his creatures' redemption, says Luther, that God's preference for human nature over angelic nature might even have provoked the angels to jealousy! But Psalm 8 nudges that issue: what are human beings that you are mindful of them? They have been made a bit lower than angels but crowned with glory and honor. A preference for humans: in that lies the Christmas gospel …

There is God in the flesh, thriving in a placenta, protected by a water bag, bouncing on a donkey ride to Bethlehem where his folks had to meet the local IRS. No different than any other baby at the time. While God preferred human nature to the angelic, God asked no human favors and got none. When inns are full they are full. Sleep where one can. God deep in the flesh became God deep in the straw. Mary, the mother of the Creator, sustained the one who sustained all the living.

—C. John Weborg in the "Covenant Companion" (Dec. 1994)


Mary and Joseph, along with both the simple shepherds and the learned Wise Men, show us that communication with the Lord needs two partners: God sends a message, but we must be willing to receive the news.

—Christopher M. Belitto in "U.S. Catholic" (Dec. 1994)


Jesus Christ founded His Kingdom on the weakest link of all—a Baby.

—Oswald Chambers in "Shade of His Hand"


Jesus—a simple name with so much power and meaning, but on that night so long ago, the tiny baby, wrapped by Mary in swaddling clothes, waving little arms, hungrily sucking a fist, was like any other newborn baby. He was helpless and dependent, and Mary was His hope of survival, His nourishment, His very lifeline. God entrusted His most priceless gift to a very human, very young, earthly mother. Why? Because God so loved—that He gave. He relinquished His hold on His Son and placed Him in fragile human arms.

—Janette Oke in "Reflections on the Christmas Story"


The immense step from the Babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for his own people—that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce his return, when we shall always be with him.

—Alan Redpath in "The Life of Victory"


In the super-miracle of the Incarnation, our very Creator, Preserver, Judge, becomes our Kinsman, Sinbearer, Redeemer! Of all miracles and mysteries this is the most staggering.

—J. Sidlow Baxter in "Awake, My Heart"

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