Giving Jesus our heart at Christmas

Snowy_winter_2 "A Christmas Carol," a poem by eighteenth-century writer Christina Georgina Rossetti, always has fascinated me.  I read it every year.  See if you can see how Rossetti deftly moves the reader back and forth between the original Christmas scene, the present, and the future return of Christ the Lord.  The final 8 lines really brings it home…

In the bleak mid-winter

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 mid-winter

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 mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty

Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim

Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels

Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel

Which adore.

Angels and archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air;

But only His mother

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 give Him,

Give my heart.

2 thoughts on “Giving Jesus our heart at Christmas

  1. One of my earliest memories is reciting the last eight lines at a Christmas program, down in a tiny country church in the Appalachian foothills. I must have been about four years old.

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  2. I like that poem alot too. And I love Gustav Holst's hymn setting of it. Oddly, in most hymnals, the third verse is excluded. Probably the hymnal editors didn't want the phrase "breastful of milk" to scandalize their congregations!

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