Thursday, December 24, 2015

Donne: Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb

Thursday, December 24, 2015
    Christmas Eve
    When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
    —Matthew 2:13-15 (NIV)
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves his well beloved imprisonment,
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath the inn no room?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
The effects of Herod’s jealous general doom;
Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how he
Which fills all place, yet none holds him, doth lie?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss him, and with him into Egypt go,
With his kind mother, who partakes thy woe.
    ... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. VI, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Holy Sonnets, III, p. 444 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 2:13-15; Luke 2:5-7; 2 Cor. 13:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may I go beside You wherever You go.
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