The Nativity

TheNativity (600 x 300)On this Holy Day, I am grateful for my family, and for the opportunity to celebrate this season with my Big Italian clan in Syracuse.  I am thankful for the One, Holy and Apostolic  Church that has nurtured me and my calling, and continues to give me a place to serve.

On this day, looking out on over a foot of snow, I am reminded of one my favorite Christmas hymns: “In the Bleak Midwinter.”  (Christina Rosetti- an Italian Catholic like my Syracuse family-nwas a 19th century poet who wrote the lyrics).  It was a few Christmas seasons ago that Rose and I attended an event in Asheville that included Brian McLaren and David Wilcox.  In the middle of the concert portion, Wilcox wanted to do a riff on this hymn, but he could not remember the words. He asked if anyone could sing it for him, and I sheepishly volunteered.  I sang the first verse, and then he asked if I knew the last verse, and I did, and so the two of us did an unplanned duet.  It was one of those times in your life when you have a brush with musical brilliance.

I have been moved by this hymn for decades now, and I share the last verse on this day we celebrate the Nativity of Christ Jesus the Lord.  May we learn to live the gift that was first given to us:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him… give my heart.

 

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