December 8, 2021
Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 2:25–35; 22:69; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 12:2
John Calvin (1509–1564)
Peace on Earth
As fits the holy Christmas birth,
Be this, good friends, our carol still—
Be peace on earth, be peace on earth,
To men of gentle will.
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)
Peace on Earth in the Hearts of Believers
Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 10:34; Luke 2:14
Let us reflect that at the festival of the Lord’s birth, and therefore, from the beginning of His life, we greet Him as the Prince of Peace, and that this always continued to be His character in the midst of all the strife that He Himself brought, so that in this sense also His life is carried on in us. And thus, both in the midst of the internal dissension, which, alas! not unfrequently exists among the professors of His name; and in the outward conflict with the world; we also preserve the cheerful calmness, which with Him was never disturbed; and go on in the way of peace; so that, notwithstanding the sword, peace still rules on earth, for it has fixed its seat in the inmost heart of believers.
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834)
Proceeding from the Father, and Speeding Back
John 8:42; 16:10, 28
From God the Father He proceeds,
To God the Father back He speeds;
Proceeds—as far as very hell,
Speeds back—to light ineffable.
Ambrose of Milan (ca. 339–397)
Raising an Impure Race to Purity
Matthew 8:3; Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13; Hebrews 10:22
He who is all purity came to an impure race to raise them to His purity.
John Henry Newman (1801–1890)
Reject the Virgin Birth, and the Incarnation Will Follow
Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23
Once reject the tradition of the Virgin Birth, and the incarnation will go with it. For a few years, indeed, men will use the old language, the word “incarnation” will be on their lips; but it will be found before long that by that term they do not mean God manifest in human flesh, but they mean a man born naturally of human parents, who most clearly manifested to men the Christian idea of a perfect human character. Such a conception as this brings no solace to human hearts.
Berkeley William Randolph (1858–1925)
Rejoice with Trembling and Joy at Christ’s Birth
1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalm 96:1, 11; 98:4; Isaiah 12:5; 49:13; Luke 2:10–11
Christ is born; glorify Him. Christ from heaven; go out to meet Him. Christ on earth; be exalted. Sing unto the Lord all the whole earth. And that I may join both in one word: let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, for Him who is of heaven and then of earth. Christ in the flesh: rejoice with trembling and with joy—with trembling because of your sins, with joy because of your hope.
Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. 329–389)
Renouncing the Works of the Flesh
Galatians 5:16–21; 2 Peter 1:4
Having obtained a share in the birth of Christ let us renounce the works of the flesh. Christian, acknowledge your dignity, and becoming a partner in the divine nature, refuse to return to the old baseness by degenerate conduct.
Leo the Great (ca. 400–461)
Salvation Was Ordained from the Beginning of the World
Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 1:1–2; 11:10, 13–16
It was no new counsel, no tardy pity whereby God took thought for men: but from the constitution of the world He ordained one and the same cause of salvation for all. For the grace of God, by which the whole body of the saints is ever justified, was augmented, not begun, when Christ was born. And this mystery of God’s great love, with which the whole world is now filled, was so effectively presignified that those who believed that promise obtained no less than they who were the actual recipients.
Leo the Great (ca. 400–461)
Sentiment and Symbolism Inseparable from Christmas
Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:12
If you do not like sentiment and symbolism, you do not like Christmas; go away and celebrate something else.
G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936)[1
 Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.
Glorious Light Born of the Father
Luke 2:14; John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 2:6–11
O glorious Light born of the Father,
O bright Wisdom of God, brought forth of a virgin this night,
grant me devoutly and worthily to tender you thanks;
grant me to sing aloud to your name, reverently bow, humbly kneel, worshipfully adore
and with the holy angels solemnly to chant to you, “Glory in the highest.”
For praise and honor befit you, O Lord, Who did deign to be incarnate for our salvation.
Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471)
Grant That We May Daily Be Renewed
John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; Ephesians 4:23; Titus 3:5
Almighty God, who has given us your only begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin,
grant that we being regenerate, and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your holy Spirit,
through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end.
Book of Common Prayer 1892
Grant That We May Purify Ourselves as the Son Is Pure
Titus 3:7; 1 John 3:2–3, 8
O God, whose blessed Son was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God and heirs of eternal life,
grant us, we ask you, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as He is pure:
that when He shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto Him in His eternal and glorious kingdom,
where with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Ghost, He lives and reigns, ever one God, world without end.
Book of Common Prayer 1892
Anyone May Be Comforted, Except Those Who Do Not Want Comfort
Matthew 6:5; 11:8–9; 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 7:25–26; 11:43; 20:46
The silent infancy of Christ will not console the talkative; the tears of Christ will be no comfort to one given up to worldly enjoyments; the swaddling clothes of Christ will offer no attraction to those who are clad in soft garments; the stable and the crib will only repel the lovers of the first places in the synagogues.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)
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