Monday, 17 December 2012
Poem for 17th December: The House of Christmas - GK Chesterton
The House of Christmas
There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.
For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.
This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.
This was sent by Tricia, it is a different telling of the nativity, reminding us of the power Rome held over the people of that time. But what I think is so amazing is that after telling of the nativity, we are taken through the way things are now, with people living secular lives, looking for nothing more than that, that is enough, the earth and the air. But then we are given the invitation, extended to all men, to come to the place where all are at home, to come home to God.
As we see images of the nativity in ever increasing numbers
Help us to see the real story
Help us to remember that when Christ came down to earth
He was homeless
He was born in a stable
But that now he has risen
He offers a place of rest
To each and every one of us.