Editor's note: This series of "Yuletide Chats" by Bishop Carter was first published during Advent in 2012. This week's chat features two of Bishop Carter's favorite literary works to contemplate early in the Advent season.
|"The Nativity" by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, c. 1665-1670|
Latin American Christmas Creed
I believe in Jesus Christ and in the power of the gospel,
which began in Bethlehem.
I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a small village,
of whose coming shepherds saw the sign,
and for whom there was no room at the inn.
I believe in the one whose life changed the course of history,
over whom the rulers of the earth had no power,
and who was not understood by the proud.
I believe in the one to whom the oppressed, the discouraged,
the afflicted, the sick, the blind, the leprous gave welcome,
and accept as Lord and Savior.
I believe in peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and the
transforming power of the gospel.
I believe that Christmas is strength and power,
and that this world can change
if with humility and faith
we kneel before the manger.
I believe that I must be the first one to do so.
The Risk of Birth
This is no time for a child to be born
with the earth betrayed by war and hate
and a nova lighting the sky to warn
that time runs out and sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born
in a land in the crushing grip of Rome.
Honor and truth were trampled by scorn,
yet here did the Saviour make His home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth
and by greed and pride the sky is torn.
Yet love still takes the risk of birth.
-- Madeleine L’Engle