|Clip art is courtesy of Microsoft.|
"In the Bleak Midwinter"
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
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.
Why am I including a Christmas carol now? We still have a week and a half of Christmastide, so it's not too late. This poem-carol reminds me of what God wants from us most--our hearts.
In addition, less poetically, our winter has been quite bleak--overcast, dry, but extremely cold (for us). January is one of our wettest months, and we are receiving what I believe to be our first precipitation of the new year. I see the trees--some of them, anyway--just about ready to blossom. The almond trees frequently bloom on or about the Feast of the Presentation (February 2).
(Please scroll down to see a performance of the carol.)