The 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.
The 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.