25 December 2010

Lo! Unto us a Child is Born!

The holiday window of dealer R. Louis Bofferding in New York City. The giltwood figure dates from the eighteenth century, and the star-like mirror is attributed to designer Gilbert Poillerat.

The Bible, Luke 8:14

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

"And this shall be a sign until you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

The Qu'ran, 19:18-34

[Mary] said [to the angel of the Lord, disguised as a man]: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.

[The angel] said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son."

She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?"
[The angel] said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, `That is easy for Me: and (We Wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a mercy from Us': It is a matter (so) decreed."

So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.

And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet [of water] beneath thee.

"And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree. It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.

"So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say 'I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.' "

At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!

"O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!"

But she pointed to the babe. They said, "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?"

[The infant] said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;

"And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live. (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.

"So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the Day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!"

Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.   


The Swan said...

Beautifully said within words and imagery...

jones said...

Merry Christmas--I hope that your day has been filled with love. Mary