Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.
Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham—
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.
And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
This is the first Christmas we will wake up in our own home and no children will be there with us. Parents gone on both sides, first Christmas. Just us. Just like it was when we started out. Us, and the family tree, an ancestral creche, and Jesus, shining forth in the long winter’s night.
It will be quiet. I am sure there will be some tearing up, some breaking down, some wonderful moments where we reflect on Christmases gone by. And in the middle of this wonderful life, we will be brought back to the roots of Jesse, the Rose like no other. A rose of flawless perfection that grows in our hearts as we remember his humble birth.
Find some time in the midst of your Christmas to look at this flawless Rose who came here just for you, for me. Only to be impaled on a thorn, on his way home, that he might return for us all.
Here are two settings of this beautiful 15th century song.
Sting – There is no Rose of such virtue
There is no Rose of such virtue – Caracciolo
Because of Him,