Celebrating the Incarnation
But now we are in the season of Christmas. I recently came across this extraordinary poem by Saint Symeon the New Theologian. He was born in Turkey in the 10th century. The story goes that at fourteen he begged to be allowed to enter the monastery, but was refused until he turned 27. Then only months after his entrance, he was tossed back out again. His passionate love of God was at odds with the age's more intellectual approach to theology.
This is a poem he wrote called "Awaken As The Beloved." You can sense his love of God and his hunger to experience Christ in all things. I actually hand-wrote this poem and gave it as a gift to someone I love for Christmas. Being a perfectionist and trying to copy it with ink on watercolor paper gave me multiple opportunities to interact with Saint Symeon's words, his passion, and revelation of Christ in him. While this poem is not explicitly a Christmas poem, the incarnation is so enfleshed by Symeon's words that it seems appropriate given that we celebrate the arrival of God in the body of the baby Christ. Good news for all who wait, who hope, who trust...
Awaken As The Beloved