Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Compline for Christmas Eve

I'm about to go out to Berlin's French CAthedral and am listening to carols from Kings as I prepare. Then we will go out for Heiligabend with a friend of my parents. A quiet and gentle evening ahead.
Meanwhile over on 5 Lobes and 2 Fissures George has written a wonderful Christmas Eve Compline:

The bustle of the day has died away.
Still our minds, focused on the practicalities of tomorrow.
Still our minds to focus on the mystery of tonight.

Almighty God, fragile human – the impossible reality of your incarnation is so far beyond our grasp that we get lost in the ‘how’s and the ‘why’s of it. We only know that somehow the whole of time pivots on this moment. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, but a busy world barely noticed.

Refresh our jaded eyes to read those old, familiar stories once again.

In the sanctuary, a priest is struck dumb by an angel.
God who speaks in silence : when we want to argue our point loudest and longest, you call us to listen.

Teenager becomes woman in an instant “let it be with me according to your word”.
We are proud and jealous guardians of our self-determination, but you call us to obedience.

Young father, exposed to public disgrace for standing by his fiancé.
God-with-us in the chaos of doubt and questioning, you call us to faith.

Carpenter’s son, not the long-hoped-for warrior.
In a world of competition and conflict, you call us to be peacemakers.

Old man finds peace in the consolation of his people, after years of waiting.
God who transcends time, we want everything at the instant of asking, but you call us to patience.

All-powerful God, your incarnation – the ultimate vulnerability – is our ultimate challenge.
We hide behind our veneer of strength, but you call us to radical gentleness.

This is the counter-culture of your kingdom.

The Word became flesh.
Laughing, loving, embracing, joyful flesh.
Greater love has no man than this – that he lays down his life for his friends.
Broken, hurting, weeping, painful flesh.
My God, my God – why have you forsaken me?

The Word dwelt among us.
He worked with us, and walked with us.
Come, follow me.
He wept with us, and comforted us.
Do not be afraid.
He ate with us, and drank with us.
Do this in remembrance of me.
He taught us and prayed with us.
When you pray, say this : Our Father...

Joy to the world! Her Lord is come and will come. Almighty God, fragile human - we rejoice in you, and in you we will find our peace.

copyright (c) George Walsh