Sunday, December 25, 2011
And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
the sweet ad silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No caroling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare--
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.
These are the last three stanzas of John Betjeman's poem "Christmas." I love them. The rhetorical question, "And is it true?" is, of course, true. The Maker of the stars and sea did indeed become a Child on earth for your and me...and lives today...not just in Bread and Wine, but in the hearts of each and all who believe. Nothing that we know or understand can compare with that.