Monday, 18 January 2010

The World's Desire

Christmas seems like a long time ago. Less than a month ago, I was looking forward to going home; then we had Christmas, New Year, Epiphany; I came back to Oxford, and went away to a conference, and came back again, and that was a week ago... and now it's the middle of January. I've read a lot (most of it rubbish!) and thought a lot; my mind is crowded. January feels long and cold, and the snow whose arrival induced a temporary feeling of holiday-time has melted and gone. Even at church, it's Ordinary Time again.

It's something to be glad of that time goes on - that every season has its beauties, and that we're alive to enjoy them. As the hymn says, "new every morning is the love / our waking and uprising prove". But I hope it's not wrong to look back to Christmas, to that warmth and light in the darkness, and find comfort there; even if it is facing backwards, it gives strength for the long cold months ahead.

The World's Desire

1. The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

2. The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

3. The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

4. The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown.
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

G.K. Chesterton

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