Monday, December 24, 2007

Glory to God in the highest…

The birth of the Son of God was heralded by the angel of the Lord, accompanied by the shekinah, the glory of God, and was followed by a multitude of the heavenly host singing praises. And for whose benefit was this magnificent display? Kings? Presidents? Politicians? Religious leaders?

No, it was all for a few lowly shepherds – humble, poor, obscure and unnamed rustics of whom nothing more is heard in Scripture thereafter. While today’s puffed-up prelates court the wealthy, famous and influential, so today’s wealthy, famous and influential seek out the private chapels and grand palaces of these prelates as the perfect stage for their displays of religiosity. But not these shepherds. No, the Lord deemed them worthy because they were lowly. They were not body-beautiful celebrities, gifted communicators, powerful decision makers or authoritative opinion formers; they were simply ordinary men, and the Lord chose them to be among the first to know that the Christ was born; that the Messiah had entered history; that the Son of God had come to redeem mankind - Immanuel.

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

And as we spend the coming months wishing the Government would get off our backs, it is apposite to reflect that one day the Government shall be upon his shoulder. The real deliverer and the real fulfillment of the needs of humanity is human, one of us, flesh of our flesh. He is born to rule, born to be a king, conceived of the house and lineage of David. His name is Wonderful – a mystery of divinity in humanity; Counsellor – the oracle of wisdom; the mighty God – the Word was not just with God, but was God; the Everlasting Father – not the same person as the Father, but of one substance with the Father; the Prince of Peace – bringing a peace that passes understanding.

Cranmer wishes all of his regular communicants, all of his intermittent guests, and all of his occasional readers, a joyful and peaceful Christmas, and a blessed New Year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all the UK, a Merry Christmass! Remember that Christ is the Saviour of mankind and there is no other!

24 December 2007 at 15:17  
Anonymous Nathan Hale said...

Merry, Merry Christmas! May He whose birth we celebrate be nearer in our hearts this coming year!

24 December 2007 at 16:04  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

A happy, peaceful Christmas to everyone.

24 December 2007 at 16:06  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Merry Christmas, Your Grace, to you and yours, and thanks for the excellent blog.

24 December 2007 at 17:08  
Blogger paul ilc said...

for whose benefit was this magnificent display?

Your Grace, may I beg to differ slightly? I think the display was for no-one's benefit: it was spontaneous outpouring of celestial joy at the Incarnation, and it would have occurred even if no-one was present to witness it -- though, I agree, that it is not insignificant that those who did witness it were of humble origin.

Merry Christmas to you and all who read your splendid blog!

24 December 2007 at 18:21  
Anonymous gloria said...

I don't post on here very often, but I read every day. You are the voice of Christian compassion, intellectual reason and political insight. Thank you for bothering, and Merry Christmas one and all!

24 December 2007 at 18:54  
Anonymous bob said...

Merry Christmas, Your Grace.

24 December 2007 at 19:23  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Merry Christmas all!

24 December 2007 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Your Grace! It has been a good year in many ways, a dark year in others - may 2008 bring health and happiness to you, and all whom you hold dear!

Festive regards,


24 December 2007 at 21:26  
Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said...


Have a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May I draw your attention to one Mr Alan Caruba: His Blog makes exciting reading:

Alan Caruba

Likewise his excellent website has some thought provoking articles


24 December 2007 at 23:25  
OpenID curly15 said...

The staff and I at the Corner Shop wish Cranmer a peaceful and joyous Christmas (and thank Mr. Jacobs for introducing a very interesting blog!)

24 December 2007 at 23:51  
Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said...

Thanks. The second link should have said Anxiety Center.

24 December 2007 at 23:54  
Blogger Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Happy Christmas, your Grace.

25 December 2007 at 00:17  
Blogger Teck said...

Merry Christmas, Your Grace, and may God bless all.

25 December 2007 at 01:44  
Anonymous King Kong said...

Just returned from a Watchnight Service and in time I hope to wish Your Grace a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. And a healthy one too!

25 December 2007 at 01:51  
Anonymous ever hopeful said...

Have a very merry Christmas.
Enjoy your blog, keep it going.

25 December 2007 at 10:11  
Anonymous billy said...

Happy Christmas Day, Your Grace.

I hope that you are able to share it with family.

Best wishes.

25 December 2007 at 11:03  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

Merry Christmas to Your Grace, your loved ones, and to all your communicants.

25 December 2007 at 11:51  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Merry Christmas Your Grace. You are always in my thoughts. I hope you manage to watch It's a Wonderful Life - a must - at Christmas.

25 December 2007 at 14:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

And watch A Christmas Carol.
Merry Christmas

25 December 2007 at 14:50  

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