Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Musical Meditation for Christmas

Ach, Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding

Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding,

Oh Lord, Creator of us all,

Wie bist du worden so gering,

How art Thou now become so small,

Dass du da liegst auf dürrem Gras,

That there Thou liest on hard straw bed,

Davon ein Rind und Esel ass?

From which both cow and donkey fed?

(Music: Heinrich Schütz, 1585-1672 [SWV 450]; Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546 [Stanza 9 of Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her, 1536]; Performance: Hendricks Chapel Choir, December 1978; Art: Fra Angelico, The Nativity, 1439-1443.)

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI reminds us of a possible answer to Martin Luther's question:

The medieval theologian William of Saint Thierry once said that God – from the time of Adam – saw that his grandeur provoked resistance in man, that we felt limited in our own being and threatened in our freedom. Therefore God chose a new way. He became a child. He made himself dependent and weak, in need of our love. Now – this God who has become a child says to us – you can no longer fear me, you can only love me.

(H/T: the Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, Titus19)