Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Gift of Gifts

Like many of you, I'm finding this week running up to Christmas somewhat busy. Such is the clutter of Christmas that it is hard to find time to write thoughtful posts, but it's also difficult to find time for thoughtful prayers.

At busy times like this it's helpful to have something to aid our worship. We've previously recommended the book, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, and this morning I'd like to leave you with one of these prayers which helps us to focus on the centrality of Christmas: the incarnation.

The Gift of Gifts

O SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
What shall I render thee for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love:
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings on grace,
to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity, the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to watchful shepherds, and
enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes lifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, donkey, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my redeemer's face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.
In him thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.

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