Too Cold for School

SA182The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

[…Here’s a little homily I would have given the chillens today, but for the school-canceling chill. I had my chalk at the ready to 20 C + M + B 14 all the classroom door lintels.]

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son. (I John 4:10)

When our need for a Savior was great, God sent His Son, born of a virgin.

Is Christmas over? In church, Christmas lasts for almost three weeks. The shepherds came to visit the baby, and who else? The wise men.

wise-menThe wise men were wise about the stars. They found Jesus by following the… The wise men also were wise about knowing their need for a Savior was great. They beheld the great love of God—not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us and sent His Son to save us.

Anybody get any presents? Anybody eats any cakes or pies or Christmas cookies? I got some Christmas cookies, and they were delicious, and now they are all gone. And pretty soon, even in church, someone will take down the Christmas decorations.

But: There is one thing about Christmas that does not end. The fact that God loved us. And sent us His Son to wash away our sins and give us life. The wise men, wise as they were, were wise enough to know that they needed Christ. The wise men were wise enough to know that they were not wise enough to save themselves. Let’s be that wise, too. Let’s dedicate 2014 to letting Jesus love us and lead us closer to heaven. He does not ask for perfection. He simply asks for daily obedience.

After all, Jesus looks at us, and—what do we read?—He looks at us, and His Heart is moved with pity. He loves us, teaches us, feeds us. At Christmas and all year long.

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One thought on “Too Cold for School

  1. Father Mark,

    Persisting to today, at least (1 JN 4): in fact, the readings since Epiphany have been most edifying. At times, it seems that the John of (1, 2 & 3 John) and James are the obverse and the reverse, “God Loves Us” & “Here’s How We Put That Love Into Practice”, of the coin of Christianity.

    It is difficult to believe that you mountain men might even notice the cold, in spite of the seemingly downer view on solitude and the stillness of gently-falling snow. Now, R.W.S. had a slightly different view; but it was based on long months of sunless, stultifying, monotonous, bone-chilling cold:

    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
    I cremated Sam McGee.

    Love it, have always loved it, especially when spun by someone by a campfire, on a cold night, from memory, in entirety: ah, there’s a sight and sound that puts a meaning on cold that’s understandable to me, even though I didn’t come from Plumtree, down in Tennessee.

    In God we trust.

    LIH,

    joe

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