NOR war, or battle’s sound
Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung.
The hooked chariot stood
Unstain’d with hostile blood,
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they knew their sov’reign Lord was by.
CHRISTMAS is Emmanuel: God, God Himself with us, and not merely His gifts; with us though sin is in us, yea, because it is in us, cleansing us from its stains by the fires of His love and purity. God is with us, not to extinguish us, but to make us realize ourselves, to save us from being daunted and overcome by things; God is with us, enlarging our world by making us new “creatures,” and thereby He finds for us more and more in the world that has affinity with us, more and more potencies that we can use. With the sons of God it is always Christmas and the dawning of the newest of the years.
WE celebrate this incident of the Birth of Jesus in our churches. Poets sing of it. Painters illustrate it. But do we recall it when we meet the beggar in the streets, or pass the hovel with its patched windows, leaking roof, and smoky walls?
William E. Channing