British philosopher, theologian, literary and art critic, G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a man large of stature and imagination. He was the creator of the much-loved “Father Brown” stories. Today, I’m featuring his marvelous poem, “The House of Christmas.”
Despite being an Epiphany more than Advent poem, this is worthy of the time. This is “Bethlehem” by Charles Williams. Williams published many poems for his small parish magazine during his life. This one appeared in 1920.
Our poem today comes to us from none other than George MacDonald. The influence of this man on the great C. S. Lewis was well-known. He died before Lewis was born, but he still looked upon him as a spiritual father and referred to the great Scotsman as “my master.”
The poem is entitled, “A Christmas Carol For 1862: The Year of the Trouble in Lancashire.”
For both today and tomorrow I am posting one of the most remarkable, strangely comforting, but deeply subversive prophetic passages in the entire Scripture. These words, from the mouth of a young, pregnant Mary are as powerful now as they ever were. For those who think the Gospel nothing more than one’s personal ticket to heaven with little social impact, these words easily challenge such erroneous assumptions.
Today, I give you –
“The Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55 NRSV)
And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
48 for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
For Adventia, day 18, I give you “Making The House Ready For The Lord” by Mary Oliver, which appeared in 2006 in America Magazine.
Adventia, day 17. Today we share this short but evocative poem by the beloved Wendell Berry, “Remembering that it Happened Once.”
For Adventia, day 16, a clever translation and paraphrased retelling of Psalm 85 by John Milton.
Sunday, 12th of December. Advent, week 3 and day 15. We’ve enjoyed many great poems so far from numerous pens. Today features this piece by Anne Porter, “Noël.”
T. S. Eliot gets the spotlight for this submission to Adventia, day 14. I give you “Journey of the Magi.”
We intentionally missed a couple days. But, today I offer you this delightful poem, short but evocative, by Oliver Herford entitled, “I Heard a Bird Sing in the Dark of December.” Don’t forget to visit The Friendly Fogey where I find most of these gems.