Amid the glitter and sparkle of the holiday season, I sometimes need an ancient voice calling me back to the truth I long to hear at Christmas time. Saint Augustine is old enough to be that voice. Born in 354 AD and known as one of the most notorious prodigals in history, St. Augustine emerged as the greatest influencer in Western Christianity. He continues to influence us today in so many of his writings, but I especially enjoy this short piece revealing the wonder of the birth of Christ.
My mouth will utter the praise of the Lord, of the Lord through whom all things have been made and who has been made amidst all things; who is the Revealer of his Father, Creator of his mother; who is the Son of God from his Father without a mother, the Son of man through his mother without a father.
He is as great as the Day of Angels, and as small as a day in the life of men; he is the Word of God before all ages, and the Word made flesh at the destined time.
Maker of the sun, he is made beneath the sun. Disposing all the ages from the bosom of the Father, he consecrates this very day in the womb of his mother. In his Father he abides; from his mother he goes forth.
Creator of heaven and earth, under the heavens he was born upon earth. Wise beyond all speech, as a speechless child, he is wise. Filling the whole world, he lies in a manger. Ruling the stars, he nurses at his mother’s breast.
He is great in the form of God and small in the form of a servant, so much so that his greatness is not diminished by his smallness, nor his smallness concealed by his greatness. For when he assumed a human body, he did not forsake divine works. He did not cease to be concerned mightily from one end of the universe to the other, and to order all things delightfully, when, having clothed himself in the fragility of flesh, he was received into, not confined in, the Virgin’s womb. So that, while the food of wisdom was not taken away from the angels, we were to taste how sweet is the Lord.
What about you? What ancient voice speaks to you of the reality of Jesus? Do you have a favorite quote from one of the early church fathers or a Scripture that calls you back to what Christmas is really about? Please share it with us.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis