Meditations on the Nativity Story

Readings

Micah 5:2-5a

2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” 3 Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. 4 And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; 5 And this One shall be peace.

Luke 2:1-7

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

De Verbo 7.5

The knowledge of correspondences lasted among many eastern peoples down to the Lord’s coming, as may be proved from the wise men from the east who came to the Lord on His birth. So a star went before them, and they brought with them gold, frankincense and myrrh. And the shepherds were told, as a sign that they should know He was the Lord, that they would see Him in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, because there was no place at the inn. For the star which went before them meant knowledge coming from heaven, since stars in the Word mean pieces of knowledge. Gold meant celestial good, frankincense spiritual good, and myrrh natural good, all worship being from these three sources. The manger in which the baby Lord was found by the shepherds means spiritual nourishment, because horses which feed from a manger mean matters of the intellect. The inn, where there was no place, meant the Jewish church, where at that time there was no spiritual nourishment, because everything in the Word and thus every detail of their worship was adulterated and perverted. This is why it is said that this should be a sign for them that it was the Lord (Luke 2:12).


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One Comment

  1. “To feed spiritually is to learn truths in order that we might know how to love appropriately.” This sentence is such a beautiful summary of the point, as well as the process of, regeneration. The proprium wants us to believe that the love we feel, for family, people and natural life, is spontaneous and therefore right. While it IS spontaneous, there is nothing right about our initial loves. They must all be re-formed into something much better.

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