Posted in Words!

Thoughts on Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas

Verses 22 and 23 of the 66th chapter of the prophecy of Isaiah conclude one of the readings the Church assigns for today’s office of readings. Here are the prophet’s words according to The Voice translation of the Scriptures:

‘Because just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making

will go on by My enduring will,

So your name and the people

who come from you will go on as well.

From one month to the next, on Sabbath after Sabbath,

everyone, every living thing, will come to this holy place

To honor Me as God of all.

This is My word to you.’

Isn’t this a marvelous word, both call and promise?As secure as the promise of the renewed creation is that of an unending connection between God and God’s people from generation to generation,as long as generations there shall be.

We always shall belong together, God and we his little ones. As surely as there will never be sky without light, water without wet, or grass without green, just as surely we shall always belong together.

In the mystery of Bethlehem, in the manger, isn’t this promise and call made ultimately real? You can hear the Promise cry, and sigh in sleep, and see the Promise made flesh take nourishment from his mother’s breast. You can hold the Promise in your arms, and know that you are always held by the Promise in every time and place.

And do you see what is the constant center of the link, according to the prophet? It is worship. It is giving honor to God, Sabbath after Sabbath. There, together in praise, there we find life.

With all due respect to the ‘eleven pipers piping’ and all who preceded them in the old tune, we’re in much more profound territory here.

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Author:

A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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