Saturday, December 24, 2011

Poem of the Month: December 2011

"The Nativity" by Brian Kershisnik. I have this painting above my piano right now for the month of December. It's long been one of my favorites.
Today has been both a peaceful and a busy Christmas Eve. I want to leave it with the poem of the month, "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Christina Rossetti. This poem doesn't need much explication, which works well for me tonight. In fact, you've probably heard it before because it's been put to music countless times by a number of different groups and in a number of variations, from gospel to the Jars of Clay's album. As for me, I love the sound of this poem. I also love that Rossetti uses "Love" instead of one of Christ's many other names. It emphasizes for me what Christmas really is--not all those presents I finished wrapping--but love, the love of a divine father and mother for their children, the love of an older brother, a Savior. And so, on Christmas, we celebrate the sacred sign, the token, the plea, the gift:  Love for all. What could be better? Absolutely nothing.

Love Came Down at Christmas
~Christina Rossetti

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

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