Go out in Joy

By Brown, Rosalind | The Christian Century, December 16, 1998 | Go to article overview

Go out in Joy


Brown, Rosalind, The Christian Century


Psalm 96 Isaiah 9:2-7 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-20

OH, THE MAJESTY and magnificence of God's presence! Oh, the power and splendor of his sanctuary! ... Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

After Advent's four weeks of preparation for God's coming, of learning again what it means to live lives predicated on hope in God, the time has come. We are expecting the arrival of our Savior. As always, God takes us by surprise. Majesty and magnificence are encompassed in swaddling clothes; God's splendid sanctuary is a manger-of-last-resort.

   God who risked all and as a child in Bethlehem cried in the dark and cold.
   Emmanuel: God is with us, from heaven to earth see the story unfold. The
   Word made flesh in a manger is laid, see, in a baby, God's glory.(*)

Do not be afraid, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people,

The angels provoke fear. Jesus was just about the only person to be comforted by an angel. Everyone else is confronted by God and usually called to some action when an angel shows up. No wonder the standard opening line in the nativity story is "Fear not." Even if an angel were to glide quietly into our presence, we would be startled. To have the night sky suddenly lit with the glory of the Lord would be little short of terrifying. The domestic scale of the manger is not the only truth about Jesus' birth: could the psalmist ever have envisaged the heavens declaring the glory of God in quite this way?

   The angel is back! overt glory shining round the fear-filled shepherds on
   the stony soil of Bethlehem. Brimming over with the news of joy, great joy,
   the back-up choir can't resist an encore in the darkened sky--God's concert
   hall--and shepherds in the front row seats!(**)

The shepherds glorified and praised God for what they had heard and seen.

I collect pictures of the annunciation and the Christmas story as painted by the old masters. It is fascinating to reflect on the different understandings of the incarnation that the artists have expressed. One of my favorite pictures of the shepherds is a detail from a 15th-century Dutch Book of Hours. Eight solid and solemn shepherds hold hands and are obviously doing a circle dance, although two are going in opposite directions and one seems to be standing still. Another shepherd points to heaven, where the words of the angel appear in large letters. Their expressions do not suggest even a glimmer of excitement--these are sturdy, no-nonsense shepherds--but as joy seeps into their souls, their feet cannot help dancing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Go out in Joy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.