Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anstice: When came in flesh the Incarnate Word

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
    —Luke 2:8-12 (NIV)
When came in flesh the Incarnate Word,
    The heedless world slept on,
And only simple shepherds heard
    That God had sent His Son.

When comes the Saviour at the last,
    From west to east shall shine
The awful pomp, and earth aghast
    Shall tremble at the sign.

Then shall the pure in heart be blest;
    As mild He comes to them,
As when upon the Virgin’s breast
    He lay at Bethlehem:

As mild to meek-eyed love and faith;
    Only more strong to save;
Strengthened, by having bowed to death,
    By having burst the grave.

Lord, who could dare see Thee descend
    In state, unless he knew
Thou art the sorrowing sinner’s Friend,
    The gracious, and the true?

Dwell in our hearts, O Saviour blest,
    So shall Thine advent-dawn
Twixt us and Thee, our bosom-Guest,
    Be but the veil withdrawn.
    ... Joseph Anstice (1808-1836), [1836], A Library of Religious Poetry: a collection of the best poems of all ages, Philip Schaff, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1880, p. 606-607 (see the book)
    See also Luke 2:8-12; Ps. 99:1; Matt. 5:8; John 1:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Your Advent, Lord, has changed everything.

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